Aston Villa: An Unjust Result

I couldn’t write this immediately after the game. I’m sure you can understand why, What a travesty. It was a game we did not deserve to lose and could so easily have won if we had put away just a couple of the myriad of chances that came our way.

As you may have come to realise I am not a huge Lucas Neill fan, but we cannot blame him for their fluke of a goal. There’s nothing he or Robert Green could have done.

We mustn’t get downhearted. We were better than the team which now sits in third place in the league. How did we get nothing out of this game? Easy. We just can’t score. Bellamy put in his best performance of the season and created havoc in the Villa defence, but his strike partner had several excellent chances, each of which he contrived to spurn.

Defensively they never really troubled us. Even on the odd occasion they got through, we survived. Davenport was immense, in particular.

But I still think that it is in midfield where we have the problem. Al four players are good players, but essentially they all play in the same position. None of them are natural wide players and none of them are playmakers.

Scott Parker had his worst ever 45 minutes for us and he was rightfully subbed. But instead of bringing on a wide player (there weren’t any on the bench) Zola replaced him with Mullins – and then Bowyer came on later for the ever busy Behrami.

Tristan came on too late to really do any damage and Freddie Sears wasn’t even in the squad. I hope Cole is rested against Portsmouth and that Tristan starts.

Green 7
Upson 7
Davenport 8
Ilunga 6
Neill 7
Noble 7
Parker 5
Mullins 6
Collison 7
Cole 5
Bellamy 8


112 Responses to Aston Villa: An Unjust Result

  1. Eric says:

    Heartbreaking once again, The positive i will take a way is that they played their hearts out and played well. This is not a team destined for relegation.

    Oh wait, one more positiveโ€” Our support at the pub was far better than Villa.

    So many chances wasted. When is Fonzie going to give Bellars another partner up there?

  2. hammeredCalv says:

    Iain your right, theres no justice in football ! that was one cruel game to lose ! i hope it doesnt have a negative affect on the team, because they played really well, Tristan needs a chance, not saying he would be any better, but i feel Cole needs a rest and work on his finishing and posistional play, Bellamy was fantastic , Cole off the pace, and often not in the 6 yard box when needed. Hopefully lady luck will shine on us soon, we so deserve it !

    west ham til i die………………….

  3. steve says:

    It’s about grinding out results when you aren’t playing well. Look and learn.

  4. robert says:

    Great shame. We deserved at least a draw.we need another striker.

  5. Toby says:

    Give me a break!!! There were two halves to this game with villa dominating the first and yourselves having the second. However for clearcut chances i think Villa had more and the pressure we put you under in the first half i think it was only fair we got a goal. However as you said you could have taken a chance or two but for (Calmaitous) Cole. But to be honest you weren’t the better team your defence was all over the place in the first half-embarrasingly so!

  6. Roshi says:

    What does that idiot “Toby” get out of coming onto another teams discussion blog. Keep your thoughts to yourself and go play with your own mates.

    Anyway, what we need is a bl–dy finisher, clear as a boil on the end of your nose!

  7. John says:

    Toby, stats alone say we dominated this game. We had 66% possession, a hell of a lot more shots. Aston Villa got lucky with the parker pass back and the goal was lucky. Apart from that Villa didn’t do much, embarrassing play acting from ashley young though clutching his head “injury” at the end.

  8. Dave Hall says:

    We play eally well, but the obvious missing link is a proven forward to partner Bellamy. Cole for all his efforts just isn’t going to help bang in the goals. They say Tristan isn’t hundred per cent fit, yet he played at the reserves and bagged to goals, and only gets a few minutes in this game. We have to sort this frontline out asap.

  9. SwedeHammer says:

    two questions comes to mind…how the hell did we loose that one and WHY COLE????
    If we even played a half talented forward we win by two.
    Second half was flawless but we are lacking on the wings. Seams like we clog up in the middle….This one really hurts…really hurts.

  10. Jimmy B says:

    I am a Villa fan, but fear not, I am not hear to gloat. I think it is a game that really West Ham should have won, but I think you have a major problem with Cole, and it goes to show why we didn’t sign him in the end. I also don’t understand why Parker is being played in a holding role, when really he seems more suited to an attacking midfielder role. Unfortunately I have to say I think you are going to lose Bellamy and Ashton in the window and if you do, then I think you may be in real trouble. To be perfectly honest I would hope we are one of the teams chasing his signature. The problem with the league at the min is that you can be 7th one week and 15th the next, so there you go. I believe we hadn’t beaten you at home in 12 years prior to today, so the law of averages say it was going to happen sooner and later, but a win is a win at the end of the day. Good luck for the rest of the season as I think you are going to need better luck than you got today.

  11. colin say's says:

    Toby l like Martain O.neil ,a very honest and honourable man even he did not describe the match as you have. l went to the game at the end of last season when we played Villa . A lot of your Villa and West ham supporters all play footy out side the local Pub after the game,a nice bunch of fans. Pity its not rubbed of on you…………

  12. BadgerVilla says:

    Roshi, the point posted was fair comment mate.
    What do you want, a one sided view of Hammers fans all licking each others wounds?

    FWIW, you should have won that and we were lucky.
    That’s the way it goes mate.
    You’ll be ok, don’t worry.
    Your mob played well.

  13. DevoDevo says:

    A travesty is the right word. A draw would have been harsh. Apart from the Young chance put on a plate by a below par Parker, Villa rarely threatened. Agbo was in Upson’s back pocket and Young ws mostly anonymous.

    Why do we seem to be getting so much bad luck this season. Every bounce and deflection goes against us.

    Couldn’t fault the defence, Neill’s performances have improved recently just as he prepares contract talks and Davenport was solid again alongside possibly the best English centre half on form.

    The midfield passed well and harried (ecl. parker). Collison again showed some classy touches, but should really be in the centre.

    Up front, Cole did a good job of holding up the ball and keeping possession but once again, came up way too short with his finishing. Missed a sitter of a header and miskicked (does he ever hit the ball cleanly?) on more than one occasion. E1 – this is the argument that I and others tried to make the other week. Had we had an Ashton or another better forward, this would have been another win instead of a defeat. Such are the small margins at this level.

    Finally, Bellamy. Outstanding again. First class workrate and attitude, but needs a more intelligent partner.

    Overall, excellent displays against the top 3 sides in the last few weeks, which augurs well if we mainatain the same standard against the lesser lights.

    Zola does need to try another forward, which depending on the opposition, should be Sears or Tristan.

    Green 7
    Neill 7
    Davenport 7
    Upson 8
    Ilunga 7
    Behrami 7
    Parker 5
    Noble 7
    Collison 7
    Bellamy 8
    Cole 6

  14. BadgerVilla says:

    Oh, I have to agree with the Carlton Cole comment too.
    He’s not good enough, IMO.
    Very Hesky-like, good build up etc, but can’t score.

  15. North West Hammer says:

    Not sure which game you were watching Toby but it definitely wasnt the same one as I saw. Two teams that play in claret and blue, one in the rop four and one flirtng with the relegation places. Only problem was if you tuned in not knowing which was which you would have had it the other way round.
    Result aside, two things stood out for me. Neither teams league position is a true reflection of their performances.

  16. Swindon hammer says:

    Sorry guys there’s only so long we can say we are unlucky! The truth is my gran has got more chance of scoring than Cole & until zola drops him off the face of the planet & plays someone with half a sniff at goal we’re gonna keep dropping valuable points!

  17. Toby says:

    Guys i wasn’t here to gloat but to express an honest opinion! I never at one point slated your team i quite like west ham but to be honest you weren’t the better team. There is no need to call me an idiit (or no need to disgrace yourself Roshi) because as much as you may not like it everyone has a right to express their opinion on whatever page they are on. As i saw today we had the better half you had the better second half! What is wrong with that? The rest were facts: You were defensively all over the place in the first half, Cole isn’t good enough to play for you (which we found out a few seasons ago). I need not be here to be abused and find it dispicable i am not allowed to express my own opinion (from a villa point of view). I think you guys should chill and welcome other view points rather than slate them off if you don’t like what you here (because afterall we are both biased). To summarise if either team had won i don’t think it would have been unjust as the title says! Anyhow i hope for the best for west ham and im sure you’ve got enough to stay with us in the league as long as vital players (upson, bellamy, parker, ashton) don’t see pastures new in the forthcoming window

  18. djclipz says:

    Heartbreaking!!! To lose like that was killer, we certainly didn’t deserve to lose but we showed once again our lack of finishing so we didn’t deserve to really win it either!! apart from a couple of lapses, our defending was very good, along with the build up play. Collison looked lively again, i just wish his long range shot didnt get blocked!! We have to take the game to portsmouth and really get something.

    One thing i really do wonder about though, its obvious that cole can not finish, however when u realise something like that, surely in training everyday and even time afterwards your going to practice and practice your finishing, surely even zola has a few tips, but for me he seems to get worse!! Is it nerves and he just bottles or what!!?? Surely the amount of practice he can put in should improve you to some degree!!??

  19. Toby says:

    John Ashley wasn’t play acting at the end you could see he was genuinly hurt by the kick in the face. If davenport (i think it was) hadn’t illegaly done that he would have been through on goal

  20. allblacks says:

    Well must agree with Toby. Who on here would sugest the first half didnt belong to villa? I dont think any villa fan will say the second half was not yours and on the whole a good game might have shared a point each on the balance.

    On this form i think most will agree wham will go on to finish mid table or even better, but for now…

    Up the Villa!!!

  21. John says:

    Toby, illegally done that? you sound like McCabe. Im sure he was “genuinely” hurt. How comes there were no cuts, bruises and he didnt break any bones? Must be a pansy, only way to describe it if he wasnt play acting

  22. Toby says:

    John it was clear from the replays davenport’s foot (illegally too high) hit him-there doesn’t have to be blood or bruises for evidence. If someone is punched neither can appear for a few hours! He was brought down for that and had he not been kicked in the face by an illegally high boot then he would of probably scored.

  23. liam says:

    Sorry, but i have to agree with Toby a bit. I thought your lot had the 2nd half and Villa had the first half. West ham didn’t really have many clear cut chances except Davenports, Coles 2 chances where at best half chances even though he got the ball in a good position it was still to score. Gabby and young really should have done better in the first half with their chances. i thought bellamy had a great game, and is one of the only players that has had the better of Laursen this season. a draw would have been a fair result, but teams near the top have all the luck it seems.

  24. Phil says:

    Yes, Cole’s finishing has been poor…ok very poor… but we have no-one else to act as a target man until Ashton is fit. Cole rarely lost possession when the ball came to him and without him I can see teams coming back onto us time after time. I just hope Zola can unlock the potential finisher that he seemed to be years ago – if not, why the renewed contract?!
    And Toby, do you really think Young would have stayed down for two minutes after Davenport cleared if Villa were 1-0 down?

  25. liam says:

    One other thing, stats don’t mean much when you play the style of football villa play. every week we have hardly any possession and less shots on target than the opposition because we play counter attack. The difference is we normally have clear cut chances (i.e. gabby’s that he made a complete hash of, not so much Milner’s) while the opposition takes most of their shots from outside the box.

  26. James says:

    I just hope we can have the luck Villa are having at the moment, I mean they are the luckiest team I have seen!!

    How can they play rubbish and win, gut wrenching stuff!!
    How are they in the top four?

  27. allblacks says:

    Yes James very true… how are we in the top 4? How do we have so many in the English squad? Why does Copello keep talking about our lads? Why are the pundits always talking about our boys and team?

    Reason? We play rubbish and keep winning!

    I wish Hammers the LUCK we have had…

    Up the Villa!

  28. Toby says:

    There’s another West ham fan making an arse of himself! James don’t kid yourself-the table doesn’t lie! I tell ya a lot of luck is needed if it’s only luck that has won us games..fortunately it’s a bit more than’s a talented team that have gelled well together and are playing extremely good football. There have been occasions when maybe we’ve got more than we deserved (i.e possibly today) but there have also been occasions when we’ve dominated and got nothing from it. The knack of it all is winning even if you play badly-like today and that is a sign of a top 4 team. Like it or not villa are the better team. However i do wish West Ham all the luck- one of the good traditional football clubs left in the premier league

  29. BadgerVilla says:

    James, you need that luck to do any good mate.
    Again, the way it goes.
    Man U winning that CL final ring a bell?

    We’re getting it (about time too) and you aren’t.

    I can see that some people think good teams make their own luck, but I don’t agree with that way of thinking.

    You’ll survive, I love Zola and hope you push on.
    As long as you’re below us ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Russell says:

    We should play our reserve keeper upfront instead of Carlton Cole. Theres no defending it he is hopeless. He holds up the ball? awesome, but it doesnt really matter when you’re diabolical in front of goal with clear cut chances. Sad thing is people will still try and argue he deserves to be playing. Cant even be bothered to continue to rant about him. He must not play in our next game. He cant be rewarded for shocking displays by constantly being picked to play the full 90mins.

    If Bellamy leaves in January we are fooked

  31. Shepp says:

    The Villa fans should shut up because they will not be breaking into the top 4. Just enjoy your run while it lasts. They will do what Everton done a few seasons ago and no more.

    O’Neill does come up with some garbage. This is the man who does not rate Zlatan Ibrahimovic but thinks Ashely Young fits into the world class bracket. He should keep his excitement to himself. Where were Young and Agbonlahor tonight? They were comprehensively snuffed out.

    Anyway enough about them.

    We need proper wingers. Dare I say it but we are looking like the Chelsea midfield at the moment, a collection of central defenders in all four positions. Im happy with the back 5 but we need Lopez/Etherington on the left and Dyer on the right. Behrami stays but Parker has to go. I have never rated him, he has one good game in every 4/5 and generally runs around giving the ball away. I would try and get this Appiah chap in asap and maybe even Pennant for the right side – think he could be on a free at the end of the season. Up front, time to rest Cole, He needs to try and work out how to untangle his feet. Tristan and Bellamy to have a go.

    Green – 7
    Upson – 7
    Davenport – 8
    Neill – 7
    Ilunga – 6
    Parker – 4
    Noble – 5
    Collison – 7
    Behrami – 8
    Bellamy – 8
    Cole – 5

    Team for next week:

    Dyer (if over flu)


  32. Westhamdave says:

    Travesty? Travesty? Fu** Travesties. Zola? **** a man who was agreat player and a gent…..give me CURBS AGAIN

  33. WHU Kim says:

    The only person to blame is the manager insisting on starting with Carlton Cole. I’m sorry but I’d had enough of the Chelsea man picking his Chelsea mate over the likes of Sears or not even giving Tristan a meaningful run out. We had a left winger on the bench, play him instead of having Bellamy out of position all the time leaving only the clueless clown in the box.

    And the Villa fans coming on here glaoting saying they are going to buy Ashton and Bellamy can do one. I bet at least half those Villa fans bigging themleves up today weren’t even at Upton Park when we beat you 4-0 not long ago.

  34. Ozuptonparker says:

    Toby your a tool, you contradict yourself several times then finally admit to playing badly. Come on here and gloat by all means but really does this site need anymore muppets spouting how frigging righteous their team is….?

    Young was involved in minimal contact with Davo replay proves it , Ekuku said it , Halsey waves play on, unproffessional conduct not “illegal too high”

    Bellamy booked for decent following goal out for Stke game get Freddie in there GF.

    FWIW Behrami Ilunga Bellamy different class today

  35. Toby says:

    Well WHU Kim if the likes of us come after Ashton and Bellamy then i can see why they would want to move. Your club is in a small state of turmoil with the financial backing and i just hope for the sake of the club it can be brought out in time to stop the january sales. If not then you could be in serious, serious trouble

  36. Dave Hall says:

    Maybe we should all just write to Zola and plead with him to drop Cole. Tristan must be ready sooner or later for a run out. This is getting unbearable watching Cole balls up good chances. If not Cole put Sears out there…anyone but Cole, even my boozy old Dad would do better than Cole

  37. StainesWestHam says:

    We couldn’t score in a brothel at the minute. Travesty maybe, but Zola has 1 win in 13 games – get a striker in Jan or it’s game over…

  38. allblacks says:

    lol…. Gloating? well … maybe… well… yeah at least i am ๐Ÿ™‚

    Although i just wanted to give you some friendly support to start with as i know it must hurt to have uterly outplay the clueless villa boys to then come unstuck by the most lucky goal of the season, i must now gloat with the biggest Gloating smile of the century… well 2nd most after our win over Everton in the last seconds…. oh how much i love this game with its UPs and DOWNs

    UP The Villa… (and i hope not) Down the Hammers

    The more i hear about the luck, the more i must write ๐Ÿ˜‰

  39. US'Ammer says:

    A harsh outcome?
    How many goals have WHU scored in the last dozen games.
    The idea is to put the ball in the net, we all know this but sheepish grins after yet another miss doesn’t indicate the requisite desire at this level.
    Hope some other team is looking for our lump of Cole while stocking up for ’09.

  40. E1 says:

    Devodevo if you had read my posts I said we needed a better forward my argument was that Ashton might not come straight in from his lay off and save us. My personal opinion is that ashton aint up for a fight and will look to take the easy option and move on. I would rather get rid and replace him with someone who can score and play more than a few games on the trot. Sears and tristan seem to be our best option at the moment with bellamey out wide. Still say Ashton is not guarenteed to do it when he comes back and when he does come back if things aint going his way how long till his back on the treatment table. he is a big gamble for us to pin our hopes on.

  41. richo says:

    Unlucky loss, but I cannot comprehend Zola’s unwillingness to replace Cole during games, how can he continue to fail but continue to play 90 Mins, don’t want to be to negative but just needed to get that off my chest.
    We have to win our next five matches before going to the Emirates and hosting ManU.

  42. Auckland Hammer says:

    It’s a disgrace that Cole even picks up his wages. He has had his chance and it’s now time for a change. Sears deserves a crack at it. The fact that Cole dosen’t even get dragged off is a bit strange. Jesus having to watch him for the next five years i’d rather top myself than watch that S–T ! How about a move for Bullard & Doyle at Reading ?

  43. Toby says:

    Ozuptonparker- Find where i contradicted myself! Also my friend the way we played does not count but the win does…if arsenal could win games over playing well but loosing im sure they’d choose the win. Don’t be an idiot and have sour grapes because quite simply your post has about as much constructive things to say as West’s hams result!

  44. BRIAN FROM OZ says:

    Totally agree Iain, no wide palyers that “possibly” could help Cole with crosses from the by line that he could attack as he seems to have no idea where the goal is when the ball comes from midfield! He should definately be dropped and give Tristan a chance otherwise why did we bother to get him.. and why is Sears not being used as a sub? Coles’ ratio of goals to games is atrocious!!Another bleary eyed morning (4.30am kickoff) after only 3 hours sleep, then off to work…if that is not a true supporter eh? West ham Till I Die!!!!!!!!!COYI

  45. SJ Chandos says:

    I said after the Chelsea match that there is not too much wrong with this West Ham team and, for me, today’s match underlined that. The Hammers were desperately unlucky against Villa and should have won with ease. Villa played their fast, counter-attacking game, but I thought West Ham handled it really well.

    Villa are overated and currently occupy a false position in the league. However, it has to be admitted that Martin O’Neill is an excellent manager, who is making the best of the players that he has. Forget about the Villa fans posting on here, just read the honest appraisal of O’Neill published on their own club website. He stated that they scored against the run of play and were lucky to get the victory. This blog is not for Villa fans and I could not care less about their blinkered opinions on the game! Nuff said.

    The lack of width is a concern, as is Carlton Cole’s continued poor performance. I think that there needs to be changes for the Portsmouth game. Lopez should come into left midfield and Tristian must start in place of Cole. The absence of Sears from the bench is a mystery and what on earth is Bowyer still doing in the 1st team picture, he is definitely one of the players that we should be looking to offload in January. Whereas, in contrast, Davenport is playing himself off the January transfer list at the moment.

    This has been a very fustrating season so far. You have to feel sorry for Zola after results like today’s. But this is not a team that is going to get relegated from the PL. Things will turn round and it should have happened today. On the bright side, Portsmouth look just about ready for the taking on Boxing Day. We then need to follow that up with a win against Stoke City on the 28th. Keep the faith!

  46. Longman1980 says:

    Jees, there really are quite a few knobs on here. And also quite a few reasonable hammers fans.

    I don’t actually read many villa fans gloating. In fact every post I’ve read has said we were quite lucky to take all 3 points, but you don’t deserve anything if you don’t put the ball in the back of the net. At the end of the day Villa could’ve been 3 up by half time with the chances we had, and the judo move by Neill on Barry, but it was 0-0. OK, Bellamy looked threatening, but only really created 1 chance.

    Second half was another story, you were fired up and put us under the cosh, but unfortunately for your boys you can’t score for sh*t, whereas we took out chances. That’s football. I do think by full time we were very happy to take 1-0, however, had Young, Gabby or the penalty had gone in it would’ve been a different 2nd half.

    And as for Davo on Young, I’m sorry but only an idiot would say that that was not foot up. I agree Ash made a meal of it, but it does not change the laws of the game, his foot was head height which is illegal, had it been outside of the box it would’ve been a free kick every time, much like Neill’s judo move. Please don’t be one eyed and deny that!

  47. Ozuptonparker says:

    You say you find it despicable to be abused as an “idiot,” yet you see fit to call James an “arse,” apparently it’s a game of two halves and based on one of those you claim to have been the better side worthy of all 3 points by courtesy of the knack of winning even by playing badly. Furthermore I am not your friend yet another contradiction.

    ie.a statement, or the making of a statement, that opposes or disagrees with somebody or something.

    jog on

  48. ironsmith says:

    A fluke goal to settle a game between two well matched teams is nothing new in football and should not be considered unjust. Villa were lucky with the goal and may well have won by 2 or 3 which would have flattered them. We could have won by the same margin. Cole should have secured the points for us as he also should have done against Chelsea but as many have already noted, he is not good enough and has to go.
    Since Zola took over we have played some excellent football dominated some good teams and suffered with the injury to Ashton and deserved more points. This will only come our way when we have a top goal scorer and top wingers in the team. Dyer when fit can replace one of the weakneses in the side both left (really poor) and right. This bad luck will not last and I love having Zola as manager

  49. West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    Well we were unlucky, i seemed to recall a few similar results the season we avoided the drop including Milner’s dodgy goal at St James Park, there were a lot of positives. Villa are a very good side and without Friedel they would have lost. Collison was great as was Noble and Behrami, Llunga was quality and davenport played well. Lets not get down on ourselves as Zola said we play like that every week we will win most games. As many have said we need a finisher. Cole is a great team player who gives 100% but he can’t finish so we should play Tristan Sears or di Michele

  50. irontc says:

    i reckon we are cursed !

  51. clack says:

    I, not sure having so much possession, and passing the ball around well in the centre of the park necessarily means playing well?

    Villa set themselves very defensively and it looked to me as if they were quite happy to let us have the ball and knock ot around in harmless areas in the centre pf the pitch.

    Carlton Cole can’t finish, but the prpblems with his presence goes much deeper that that.

    With Cole up front, the team is set up in a way it’s not suited. It’s no good having an Emile Hesky-type striker if there are no goalscoring midfieders to pick up his knockdowns.

    Also Bellamy is at his best when shoulder to shoulder and having through balls to run onto, but he can’t play like that when Cole is in the team.

    We will go down if we don’t start scoring goals.

  52. clack says:

    Shoulder to shoulder with the last defender

  53. clack says:

    I, not sure having so much possession, and passing the ball around well in the centre of the park necessarily means playing well?

    Villa set themselves very defensively and it looked to me as if they were quite happy to let us have the ball and knock ot around in harmless areas in the centre pf the pitch.

    Carlton Cole can’t finish, but the prpblems with his presence goes much deeper that that.

    With Cole up front, the team is set up in a way it’s not suited. It’s no good having an Emile Hesky-type striker if there are no goalscoring midfieders to pick up his knockdowns.

    Also Bellamy is at his best when shoulder to shoulder with the last defender and having through balls to run onto, but he can’t play like that when Cole is in the team.

    We will go down if we don’t start scoring goals.

  54. chris says:

    NO more cole please hes just crap,I’m not buying into this ….he can hold up the ball bollox….thats the easy bit!!! If we had defenders that were good passers but cant defend we would have a problem.If tristans not fit and di michele is no good why they in the squad,if zola keeps playing mr nice guy with cole,hes guuna come unstuck,boy do we miss deano,agree with clack whats the point of cole if theres no scoring midfielders,
    Its buy 2 strikers or we are down,but we are in a hole now,we will be bottom 3 after tomorrows game and wont be attractive to any striker over christmas.
    If green is sold it should be part exchange with a good striker,no cash offers as no one will come to us.
    shame coz we are only a striker away from a decent side,
    hows beattie doing? anyone no.

  55. SwedeHammer says:

    Again, I said earlier, we get the points where we are being outplayed and get beat where we are in control, (Everton) what’s wrong with that picture??
    I am worried ’bout Zola’s preference of Cole, for reasons unknown??
    We need to see some fresh blood thrown in at the top. Get some hungry fresh blood, and God knows we have them…I rather have a 80% Tristan then a 100% Cole. Please Zola, try a trio up front with Bellamy, Sears and Tristan!!

  56. chris says:


  57. D&G says:

    Looks like Zola loves Cole’s cheesy helmet because I just cant understand why he plays him week in week out!

    I saw a link piece about us on Bloomberg business site and it said BG wont be pumping anymore money into the club and it will now have to become self sufficient.

    This will obviously mean we will have to sell to buy, If Zola wants funds (serious funds) you will need them if you want to get a decent striker especially mid season then the only option is sell your best players to raise the cash.

    It’s going to happen mark my words so be prepared for it. Also said no sell until after January which means we are buggered and are going to have to ride the storm and hope we survive for new owners to bring in a new manager and pump money into the team.

    Next 5 games are ‘easy’ games. They will decide our survival, off the top of my head it involves Stoke, Hull, Portsmouth, Fulham and erm someone else cant remember who. So the hard games are over now and the teams above are the teams where we have to start getting points off or we are going down simple!

    Blackburn and Sunderland are now picking up points, Man City wont be mixing it down there for much longer and Spurs will pull away. It pretty much leaves us stuck there if we don’t start scoring…….

  58. Hammer says:

    You’re right Iain, we deserved more from that. If we had got a goal (first) i think we would have run them ragged. As things stand though we are going to continue to struggle to score and not just because Cole forgets to wear his shooting boots. Zola & Clark have done well i think. They have created a solid, hard to beat team that works very hard. This is a great foundation to build on. The team are now believing in themselves and playing some good football. The problem is that they do now need to move up a gear. Cole does hold the ball up well but that is of little use if the midfield does not get forward quickly to support. One of the four needs to be given that role, the defence now play with belief and the midfield is set out to protect them so i think they can now afford to get one of them forward at every opportunity. With regards to Cole, he cannot score and therefore should not be used every game for 90mins. In the 2nd half yesterday it was one way traffic right from the whistle and Cole was not required in the role of defensive pressure releif, why Zola did not get Tristan on within the first 10minutes of the 2nd half only he will know but it’s poor decisions like that which will cost us games and in the end did. I think all in all though things are looking good. If we continue to play the way we are (excluding spurs game) we will start getting what we deserve. I’m sure Zola is just waiting for our classier players to return before allowing the team to open up and stretch it’s legs, i just hope they get that chance before it’s to late. Still, confident of 6 points from the next 2 games. Well played the lads, keep the faith.

  59. Clinton says:

    Can someone PLEASE tell me what’s happening with Dean Ashton. The official West Ham site never gives any detailed info. When is he going to be fit. What exactly is the extent of the injury which has kept him out for so long. BOY DO WE NEED HIM!

  60. Alfred Levin, Swe says:

    Very sad loss indeed, and another hard day for C Cole. Must say I prefer Di Michele up front, really innovative player that guy. But, please tell me, Where is Collins? He’s a giant of a defender.. is he injured?

    A plus for the new expression on Zolas face, a one of seriousness and I hope that niceguy days are over now. Hard leadership! No mercy. So he doesn’t become West Hams own Paul Ince.

    Have a great holiday, anyway..

  61. Upton Spark says:

    As far as I could tell,I think that Behrami was limping and holding his side when he came off so this may have been the only reason he was replaced as he was having a good game.
    As far as a wide player Ian; We did have Boa Morte on the bench so it sort of counts as a wide player although he can also play up front so he could in theory replace Cole?
    No,why would we do that,Cole has just signed for another 5 YEARS!!
    Only at West Ham could it happen where a striker who doesn’t score goals get’s a long term contract, BRILLIANT.
    We only get what we deserve sometimes and at West Ham we seem to get our fair share of sh1t.
    I must agree that we did not deserve to lose against Villa,but we did so it’s no good going on about it as it will not change anything and the only way out of this mess is to roll our sleeves up and start picking up some points. It’s going to be a long hard season (AGAIN)

  62. mac says:

    Hammer: Cole didn’t forget to wear his shooting boots, he doesn’t own any!

    Still, when we’re back in the Championship, at least we can comfort ourselves by saying we played really well and dominated games against top four sides eh? That will all make it better won’t it?

    Come on, let’s get real. That’s now one point from six when we could and should have had all six.

    Zola has to drop Cole at all costs. He surely cannot get into Jan and Feb continuing to play him.

    Anyone know when Deano is back for his next couple of games…?

  63. colney says:

    toby,your a muppet.take your 3 points back up norf and get off this site.
    as for west ham,apart from the obvious we were brilliant.i havent seen us dominate a game as much for ages.

    now the problem, we cant shoot for sh.t.

    dear mr z,

    why when we all know mr cole i not going to put the ball in the net do you insist on him still being the only player in your mind thats going to do it? where has ethers gone? why no sears? you must have been watching every week as mr cole misses chance after chance so why ? please help as this is doing everyones head in.

    kind regards

    whufc suporters

  64. Roshi says:

    It’s easy to criticize players “We pay their wages and all that” but for heavens sake is there no one else from the under 13’s upwards who we could use as a “goalscorer”. The team is alright, we just need to score goals.
    I read today that this is the main concern for Zola and Clark…….HELLO!!!…. surely they can see what everyone else can.
    Also we cannot buy until we sell, and wait for it …….it seems Bellamy and Ashton are to be flogged..WHAT!!……we haven’t barely seen them play together, two top rate players who it seems every other bleeding club in the league wants depending on what paper you read, and West Ham the club who cannot score goals is prepared to out them for some bloody Italian on loan with no Premiership experience who nobody has heard of and a striker who has scored 2 goals and given a 5 year contract!…BEYOND BELIEF!
    We don’t need to buy and we don’t need to sell, we need organisation and the guts to put another pacy player in attack (who seems to score for fun in the reserves) to complement Bellamy. Sure it will take Sears a few games to adjust, but we have persevered with Cole for long enough and he hasn’t adjusted yet.
    If its not Sears then Tristan….anybody.

  65. Roy says:

    There’s too many people believing what they read in the papers. Who is going to pay good money for Ashton when he’s still injured. They have medicals you know before transfers go through!
    All the calls for Tristan could be premature. Just because someone gets a couple of goals for the stiffs doesn’t make him an automatic choice for the first team. We’ve had players in the reserves for ages who don’t make it at all. And Tristan wasn’t exactly being trampled in the rush of other clubs trying to sign him before we did. Although it would be nice to know why we did sign him.
    Bellamy is suspended for the Stoke game on Sunday which means Zola will have to change something up front. I bet he plays Di Michele. Oh dear……..

  66. DevoDevo says:

    Roy beat me to it. Who the hell will buy an injury prone Ashton in Jan? If WHU sell Bellamy, I guarantee the rest of the season will be played in front of half empty stadia.

    We have a proven goalscorer in Sears. If he isn’t given a run in the side he has no chance of proving his worth. Tristan also has to be a better bet than Cole. WE NEED SOMEONE TO PUT THE BALL IN THE NET.

    We are actually 2 decent players from s good side. Dyer & Ashton would be the missing pieces of the jigsaw, but the c
    hances of that happening are slim.

    I don’t get the Di Michele fans on her, either? This man is another past it clown. Yes he has a little more brain power than Cole, but he has zero pace and is often wasteful in possession.

    To the earlier posters; Collins strained a calf in training (He hasn’t been missed with Davenport’s excellent performances) and Etherington has had a virus.

    God knows why Sears is not making the bench, his earlier partnership with Bellamy looked pretty good to my eyes.

    Without Cole in the side, which is a must now, I would revert to 4-3-3. Seeing as we have no width in the side at present, play 3 central midfielders behind Bellamy, Sears and Tristan.

    There’s only so many 0-0’s you can nick.

  67. Graybo says:

    This is SO frustrating. Please give someone else a chance up front. I’m all for giving people the opportunity to play through and out the other side of a bad spell, but this doesn’t strike me as being a bad spell for CC… sadly, I think this is as good as it gets for him.

  68. Toby says:

    Im telling you all now Tristan is pants-he’s way way past his best

    And Davo London with your grammatical skills im suprised you even know the word “muppet”..however i will take the 3 points thanks. Happy relegation fight *Signs of for good*

  69. Dave Hall says:

    Your telling us all now are you Toby? Ho well that’s that then the master has spoken. Just because a striker has a slump in his career doesn’t mean he’s finished. In my opinion I believe Zola will get the best out of Tristan. And even though he won’t be the player he once was, he sure will be better a choice than Cole, and could well still have enough of that old talent of his to partner Bellamy upfront aswell as scoring a much needed few goals.

  70. Andy B says:

    Question for Iain.

    Is there a way to delete comments from fans of other teams (Without making a massive amount of extra work for you!) from this site? I read your blog regularly as a WEST HAM blog for WEST HAM fans written by a dedicated WEST HAM fan. There are a myriad of other sites that cater for those who want to engage in debates with fans of other teams (or pointless ****ing contests as I view them!). I read this blog and make comments because I wish to engage with Hammers fans, not Villa fans like Toby who are getting carried away with a good season, or fans of that horrible club in Sheffield.

  71. Andy B says:

    As a follow-up, I thought we played well today, and if we had a striker to support Bellars (rather than CFC!), we would have won. Time for Tristan or Sears to get a run in the side. Cole has had enough chances!

  72. Iain Dale says:

    Andy B. A good point. I am happy for Away fans to contribute if they do it in a polite and constructive way. The reason I banned Sheff U fans from the thread a few days ago was that they were just being abusive. I let Toby through because he seemed to be making a reasonable point. Moderation is fairly lax on here. If you post a reasonable comment as a first effort and I let it through you can then post unmoderated. Of course, if I see that being abused, them I will retrospectively delete comments.

    I am all in favour of free speech, but essentially, when someone posts on here they are doing so at my invitation. If they abuse that privilege I will ban them. Simple as that. My rules. If you don’t like them, go elsewhere.

    The rules are simple. Steer clear of swearing and abuse.

  73. chris says:

    Bellamy not avalible for stoke!!!!! now thats ruined my sunday.

  74. Ian the Hammer says:

    I cannot begin to tell you how angry I was after the game. We must stop Cole from playing as he WILL geat us relegated. He has to be the worst striker I have seen since the leg end that was David kelly. If we need to boo cole at every oppotunity to stop zola picking him then so be it. He dosen’t hold the ball up, not sure what games others are watching & if we had a 2nd stricker who could not only kick a ball cleanly but hit the target we would have had 6 points from our last 2 games & not 1. I’m West Ham forever & cole will be off at some point in the future. We must make sure we break him so zola can’t pick him. It may sound harsh but I cannot stand to see him destroy MY club. Cole out – booooooooo

  75. Upton Spark says:

    Someone asked about Deano?
    As far as anyone knows,he is out until at least end of January,although some reports say he is out for longer?
    Do you know any different Ian?
    As was said earlier,I can’t see anyone with half a brain coming in for an injured player,BUT YOU NEVER KNOW???

  76. D&G says:

    I don’t blame Cole for being shit I blame Zola for picking him Ian. His inexperience shows a country mile.

    Rather get rid of Zola first. The club should never of gambled on an inexperienced manager ‘trying to get his foot in the door’. You can risk that with a top club because maybe they wont win something or qualify for something but when you bring an inexperienced manager to a club like ours relegation is the fear…..

    He took over Curbs and we are now in the relegation zone, improvement my arse! Need a new manager and FAST!

  77. Dave Hall says:

    D&G. If we were to sack Zola our club would slump even further than it has in the bottom half of the table. It would take time to bring in a new manager, we would be rudderless, and the performancees all round would probably suffer. It’s only the frontline that is lacking, and Zola needs to sort this out quick. I don’t want Zola sacked and despite his inexperience I am backing him. But as I said, he needs to get the front sorted out.

  78. madladdy says:

    Jesus guys – you want Villa fans banned because they have a different viewpoint from you?

    As a Villa fan I’d admit the game yesterday could have gone either way – but I really don’t think you were amazingly unlucky or played brilliant etc.. if that’s the case and that was your ‘best game’ – your going down – ie you lost!

    Yes you had lots of possession – but thats how we play away from home, we let you have the ball – sit back & hurry the midfield and hit on the break.

    And we did that well – at half time I was disappointed not to be 2 up – we had 4 good chances and Neills foul on Barry would have been a penalty 90% of the time. Apart from the Bellamy chance you didn’t really create anything.

    2nd half you definitely threatened more, but apart from the last chance straight at Brad nothing amazing.. and we had a couple of minor chances and a definate penalty with the challenge on Young, be honest his foot was head height! outside the box thats a free kick EVERY time and the ref just bottled it.

    So for me yeah you dominated possession but not chances which were much more even, we should have scored 2 from open play in the 1st half and had 2 clear penalties turned down..

    So how is our win lucky?

  79. Dave Hall says:

    Not everyone on here has said they want Villa fans banned madladdy. And we had more than one chance, it’s just that Cole doesn’t realise that there is large gap between the goal posts that the ball should go into.

  80. Andy B says:


    Thanks for that. I take your point about Toby; I just get sick of reading “My Club’s Better than Your Club!” type posts: I guess I’m a bit too old for that stuff.

    D&G, I also think that Zola has to drop CC now, but I still think he deserves to be given the rest of this season at least. I like the way we are trying to play: we just need someone who can put the ball in the net to state the very obvious!

  81. Andy B says:


    Is not a question of being banned. I just like the fact that this is a site for West Han fans, not Villa, Newcastle,…….. etc fans. There are plenty of other sites where you can debate with other fans (Hammersmad, AstonVillamad, KUMB, West Ham Online etc). I have posted on these sites myself (usually until a debate descends into a “we are better than you” discussion). I personally like the fact that this is a site for West Ham fans to exchange views, information etc. I respect the fact you may have a different view but would rather you post the views elsewhere. That said, its not my site! Iain has indicated what his rules are, and so I for one will abide by them. I just choose not to debate with fans of other teams. Good luck for the rest of the season!

  82. chris says:


  83. Iain Dale says:

    Chris, you know that key on your keyboard that says CAPS LOCK. Do us a favour and unlock it.

  84. Toby says:

    I came on here to post my opinion but you all decided to have a go at me because i said we had the better first half and you the better second half. I think you should appreciate contribution from other people rather than scare them away because it may not be what you want to here. And to whoever said Tristan may still have the legs in him i can tell you he doesn’t. I’ve met the guy and seen him play in Mallorca and he just hasn’t got it any longer. Hopefully though Ashton will be back and he can enjoy a partnership with Bellamy as long as they are not sold. If so you’ll be fine if they are sold you’ll reallly struggle

  85. Dave Hall says:

    Toby what you see in in past concerning Tristan does not mean that he cannot find his fitness. As you well know, the guy hit rock bottom and stupidly went into a less than healthy lifestyle. This does not mean the guy can’t find some of his former glory,even if it may well not be 100%. He is not the first player in history to fall from form,then restart his career. And this may well be the reason Zola is blending him slowly. As for Ashton, the guy his class when fit, but he has so much injury that it could be some time before we see him and Bellamy again, if we ever do. Fingers cross we do.

  86. Toby says:

    Dave good post. Yes i suppose i was talking about past experience but if he was in good hands in say the champioship i would expect him to start finding the net however he is in he premer league. As it is West Ham don’t score that much and it’s almost a shame you have to turn to tristan rather than young freddy sears who looks quality. Hope Ashton rids himself of the injury for you lot because he is a star when he’s playing-capable of anything on his day

  87. Toby says:

    Iain fair play! Seems they are getting on my back because im not sharing your viewpoint! That’s the great thing about football- we all have a different opinion on it. Obviously as a Villa fan im biased but so are you as Hammers.

  88. Dave Hall says:

    I know what you mean Toby, but be honest I would rather have Tristan have a go than keep putting Cole in there. I want to see Sears get more games, but the only problem is that for him to partner Bellamy would mean we have two guys of similar stature up front, when what we need his someone to partner Bellamy. Sears could be brought on later in the game, as the lad is still only young and needs time to find his way at this level. Good luck for the rest of the season, you have a good set up there and a good manager.

  89. madladdy says:

    Dave Hall: Yeah I know its not all – but a fair few made it clear we weren’t welcome etc.. which I thought was harsh esp as as football bias/banter goes the Villa comments were reasonably fair. Most Villa fans I know thought it were even but we did enough to win – that’s how we play away – ie chances and goals over possession.

    Andy B: Fair enough, and I know what you mean – if it turns into a slanging match it gets dull really fast.. Don’t think the Villa comments were that bad though… It’d be easy enough to just whack a ‘West Ham Fans Only’ type message – but I guess thats down the the owner etc.

    Anyhows merry xmas all & good luck for the new year!

    ps.. You know you’ll be cheering us on come Boxing day vs Arsenal!

  90. DevoDevo says:

    To the deluded Villa fans that have hijacked this thread.

    West Ham goal attempts 14 On target 8
    Villa goal attempts 9 On target 2

    Yep, very even.

  91. madladdy says:

    DevoDevo: We had two penalty claims turned down that really should have been given that aren’t on those stats. Also that says 9 vs 14 chances, well for a game you say you *dominated* that’s not *that* much more is it – esp as your the home side. Plus it says nothing about the quality of chances… as I said previous I was upset not to be 2 up at half time.

    You guy had more of the ball – for sure – but its the way we play! At home vs Man City early in the season we let them have possesion, hurried them into mistakes and scored 3 goals in 10mins on the break that killed the game.. we did the same to Arsenal & Everton away etc – its can’t always be luck ffs! We’re 3rd in the league give us some credit!

    Either way I think its best to leave it – we’re never gonna agree!

  92. D&G says:

    Diverting a bit. I was at the last world cup and I have never seen so many Villa fans in my life!

    I think I was the only WHU fan there and I shared a tent with a Spurs fan…….

  93. Jimmy B says:

    Yep I can understand the frustration of the post gets hijacked and people are abusive as that doesn’t help any way. I will usually post on other sites just to get other peoples perspectives as I am also interested to see how people view our club. Nothing is more annoying when your team isn’t doing well. Come on we know how that feels at Villa, but we are having a good patch and I think most neutrals are wishing us well. I certainly wish no ill will to the hammers and I do hope they stay up, but I think they will have to sell before they can buy and you have to look at the surrounding clubs to see who on current form is doing worse at the min.

  94. Goatygav says:

    Carlton Cole simply isn’t a striker. The sooner he changes position the better – for him and the team he plays for. When he’s playing well the best he can do is bring a ball under – shield and hold it – then bring in other players but he’s just not got an eye for goal in any way, shape or form. I’ve seen plenty of occasions this year when he’s not even been capable of that. If he can play as well as he’s played in the last couple he warrants a place in the side but not up front.

    Yes we were desperately unlucky in this game. We created the better chances and just didn’t have the quality to score. If you can’t stick the ball in the back of the net then you’re going to be up against it. So I agree with Iain that Tristan should get longer but I disagree that the midfield were at fault. I believe they did their job well and created enough to win the game.

    Best of luck to Villa. I hope they go on and win the thing. Personally I’m bored of the usual suspects being up there. I’ve got a good deal of respect for them as a club. Their chairman backs them completely. Their manager has got all the attributes to be successful, they’ve got proper history and they have a loyal, working class support. Nice to see another club in the mix.

  95. the headmaster says:

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this thread as it goes – villa fans and all!

  96. Toby says:

    Devo it’s people like you that make us feel unwelcome on what is a football thread. You should respect all opinions and i know you may not like to hear it from the winning sides prespective but we will now be gone. For future fans of other clubs i suggest you should welcome their coments not single them out and criticise their posts (like a lot of you have done to mine). Football is all about opinions and we all have very different ones. However what i will say is read madladdys post because he’s spot on

  97. D&G says:

    Yeah agree Headmaster. I like the fact that Villa fans have come onto this site to post their views about the game.

    Some fans on here need to chill out! It’s a blog and we have played Villa so why cant they post their views?

  98. chris says:

    Sorry about my caps lock,its not me its my keyboard its broke,getting a new one for christmas!!!! meeting some ex west ham players today at the football academy in Essex.
    will let you all know of any thing interesting.

  99. DevoDevo says:

    Toby – the name of the blog is West Ham till I Die. If I want to listen to Villa fans’ opinions, I’ll go o a Villa blog, something I’ve done in the past.

    Coming on a West Ham forum and spouting rubbish like “We dominated the first half” (I think you had one chance set up by Parker), shows you are here to gloat or on the wind up.

    Not quite sure how you equate two penalty appeals as ‘chances’ but you omitted that West Ham had 8 on target Villa 2.

    I’m pleased to see Villa at the top and am a big fan of Young and Agbo, despite the fact that Agbo was in Upson’s pocket all game.

    But please don’t come on here and say you deserved to win, calling people muppets and wishing relegation on us.

    I’ll be glad when the schools are open again.

  100. Toby says:

    No i came on here to post my opinion about the game. Im sure even the most die hard west ham fans on here can appreciate that had any team deserved to go into half time leading it was Aston Villa. It’s called speaking the truth and not looking at the game through rose tinted glasses.

    Regarding gabby he is a fantastic player but he does choose which games to turn up in..he hasn’t found his consistency at all and against West Ham he wasn’t on form admitedly not allowed to do so by one of your finest players upson.

    Also you have the cheek to say i’ve called people a muppet. How dare you make that up i have been respectful to those have respected me and less so to those who have criticsed me but at no point have i called anyone a muppet. Also you’d like to know im not at school any longer im slightly old for that now

    You should appreciate input from other angles and im sure Iain has loved our input into this thread. Come on guys

  101. chris says:

    Toby please go away your a bore -rov.

  102. Toby says:

    Chris you have no right to tell me to go away and no actual valid reason

  103. Iain Dale says:

    Toby, your comments have been very welcome here.

  104. Toby says:

    Thanks Iain! Some seem to keen to see the last of me though! PS is bellamy on the way to us? Heavily rumoured today

  105. Goatygav says:

    Looking forward to the Pompey and Stoke games now. If we can play like we’ve played in the last two we’re in with a shout of taking maximum points. That is if someone can stick a couple of chances away.

    Sequence of goals per game scored in the last 11 (most recent last): –


    If the above continues we’ll be in the Championship next year. I don’t think we will be though. Zola and Steve Clarke recognized the last 20 minute syndrome and sorted it out. They’ll do the same with our current scoring problem.

    As for knocking Carlton Cole I’ll say this much. I hope for all our sakes he manages to hit a run of form. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. Nothing would please me more than for him to hit 5 in the next 2 games. He must know himself that his current strike rate (last time he scored was 12 games ago) isn’t anywhere near good enough.

  106. HammerMalta says:

    Football is so unfair at times,we played so well yet we lost.Whats the promlem then ,we have to get that prolific golescorer………from somewere,maybe Kia knows anyone in southamerica,or for God sake get Dean Ashton fit cause we`re in for another hard survival battle.COYI!!!!!

  107. HammerMalta says:

    Is it true the Villians want Craig Bellamy to swoop with Marlon Harwood,must be joking .I would have Harwood back for Carlton Cole that would make sense.Selling Bellamy will doom us to the championship.COYI!!!!!

  108. Toby says:

    HammerMalta Harewood was good for us last season to come on and make an impact in the last 10 minutes. However this season he has been (in the uefa cup) absoluetly appaling.

  109. DevoDevo says:

    Toby – you still here? ๐Ÿ™‚

    For those of you yet to grasp the inadaquies of CCole, let me re-affirm some stats for you.

    In his career he scoresa 0.14 goals per game (1 in 7). Most midfielders would be ashamed of these figures!

    The last time he scored 2 goals in a match was 2002!!!!!!

    Only West Ham could offer a 5 year contract to this class of player days before his manager says he will work on his finishing with him every day!

  110. Clinton says:

    Iain…I’ve read all through the comments above and STILL I can’t see a definitive answer to when Dean Ashton is back or EXACTLY what the extent/nature of his injury is. To think when it first happened he was saying it was a “minor twist”! What happened then? The official website never gives any clues …just calls him long term absentee. So do you know the inside story?

  111. SJ Chandos says:

    Dean Ashton suffered from floating bone debris in his previously injured left ankle. He went under the knife for a clean up of the joint. If you go to physio room .com, it lists the exact medical term for the condition and a explantation.

    I think there is some confusion because he was reported as having suffered a twisted ankle in training. It was stated that he would be out until April-May, but the above website gives his return date as January 09. Unfortunately with both Dyer and Ashton it is not just about fitness, it is also about match fitness and then form. We really do needs this pair back as soon as possible!

    I suppose the speculation about Hammers players going elsewhere will intensify in the next week to ten days. If we sell Green, Upson or Bellamy we are asking for trouble, but the ball is in the owner’s court now. He obviously cannot provide the player investment we need and should sell asap for both his own and, most importantly, the club’s sake. I am confident of our survival if we retain our best players, but this situation does remind me of 2002/03 when we went down because of the refusal of the then board to strengthen the squad. Suicidal strategy!

  112. SJ Chandos says:

    Another thing, the press coverage of the Hammers has been particularly poisionous this season. It is almost as if the Mirror, Sportsmail, etc, are willing our demise. I also note their disrespectful tone when writing about our club. Terms like, ‘the self-proclaimed’ academy of football!

    I think that there is a long standing jealousy and resentment towards West Ham over 1966 and all that. It really sticks in their throats that the Hammers made a unique contribution to English football’s greatest hour, one that is still unequalled by the Man Utds, Liverpools and Chelseas of this world.

    This is all so different from my childhood in the late 60s and 70’s when West Ham were held in such universal high regard. I can remember match reports when we were referred to as the ‘aristocrats of English football.’ Can you imagine that today! I recall one match in about 1973 when we beat Bobby Robson’s Ipswich 3 or 4-0 at Portman Road and one paper said that, in our all white kit, we looked and played like England! Brian Moore, of The Big Match fame, referred to Upton Park, as the ‘Theatre of football’ long before anyone had heard of the so-called ‘Theatre of Dreams.’

    That all changed in the 1980s, as with so much that was good in our society. But, they should think on. England need West Ham’s Academy, how many of the current England squad were produced by us? It was laughable that one comic actually suggested that Aston Villa of 2008 = West Ham Utd of 1966!!!! Ignoring the fact that there is no way that the likes of Young, Barry, etc, are any where as good as Moore, Hurst and Peters and that the vast majority of the Villa players were bought, not produced by their second rate youth system.

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