Lest We Forget…

January 31, 2009

We football fans are fickle beasts. Let’s look back a mere six weeks and remember our fears. Let’s remember where we thought this club was heading. Let’s remember what we were saying about Zola, Cole and several others too. Let’s remember how little faith some of us had. Let’s remember that most of us thought that by January 31st we’d have probably lost Rob Green, Matty Upson and Scott Parker. Let’s remember that few of us would have expected us to buy a £3 million Czech international defender, let alone a £9 million Ugandan-German wunderkind from Italy.

And let’s remember that we are unbeaten since Christmas…

Portsmouth 4-1
Stoke 2-1
Barnsley 3-0
Newcastle 2-2
Fulham 3-1
Hartlepool 2-0
Hull City 2-0
Arsenal 0-0

That’s 8 matches without losing. That’s E.I.G.H.T.

Let’s remember Carlton Cole’s form and the fact that working with Zola and Clarke has enabled him to find the net 5 times in 6 league games. Let’s remember the defensive partnership between James Collins and Matthew Upson that has seen us keep 4 clean sheets in 8 matches. Let’s remind Fabio Capello who really is England’s Number One. Let’s all remember the tenacity and skill of Nehrami and Parker, whose tackled and passing have been crucial to the level of possession we have enjoyed.

And let’s remember Craig Bellamy. Who left all this behind for a team who contrived to lose to Stoke City today.

We are West Ham United. We understand what that means. No wonder Arsenal fans envy us. No wonder Spurs fans are jealous of our success.

Zola and Clarke have given us renewed belief. We anticipate a match now believing we will win. We hear the whistle and believe Carlton will score. We know Behrami will win his tackles. We relish seeing James Collins heading ball after ball away from danger. We can’t take our eyes off the colossus that is Herita Ilunga. We cherish the boyish enthusiasm with which Mark Noble approaches each game. Noble, Tomkins, Collison. West Ham Boys. Us.

Whatever happens for the rest of the season we can all agree that Zola has restored our faith in how the game should be played. We deserve to be where we are now. Who knows how much further this team can go.

Like you, I am looking forward to finding out.


Arsenal Preview & Open Thread

January 31, 2009

I would be astonished if the lineup changed for the match this afternoon against Arsenal. Why on earth would you change a winning team. No doubt there are several readers who believe that Savio Nsereko should get a starting place. I disagree. The short burst we saw of him on Wednesday was highly encouraging, but I think it would be disruptive to change the lineup today.

Believe me, we should go into this game confident of winning it. And it is in midfield where we will win or lose it. If Behrami, Collison, Parker and Noble can dominate the centre of the pitch they can snuff out much of Arsenal’s threat.

I would love to have a ticket for the game, but sadly I shall be reduced to listening to the audio commentary. If anyone knows where one can find a video feed, please say so in the comments.

UPDATE: Julien Faubert’s loan move to Real Madrid has been confirmed. Who’d have thunk?

Faubert to Madrid. Real-ly

January 30, 2009

I can hardly believe I am typing this but it’s confirmed that Julien Faubert
is in discussions with Real Madrid about a loan move.

Coming tomorrow: Sir Alex signs Luis Boa Morte!

And Straight In At Number Four…

January 30, 2009

According to those nice folks at Wikio, this is the fourth most popular football blog in Britain (and 10th most popular sports blog). In fact, West Ham blogs take up two of the top ten. Interesting that neither Chelsea or Manchester United have blogs which make the top ten. Perhaps it’s because their supporters have trouble with the UK alphabet. Joke.

1. Arseblog
2. Gunnerblog
3. SoccerLens
4. West Ham Till I Die
5. West Ham Fans
6. Goodplaya
7. Harry Hotspur
8. “Have you ever been to Liverpool?”
9. East Lower
10. AVFC Blog

So I suppose I must be doing something right, as not only do I have the number 4 footie blog, I also have the number 1 political blog!

Friday Rumour Mill

January 30, 2009

OK, busy at work, but here’s a couple of things to get your teeth into…

* Calum Davenport rumoured to be on his way to Wolves for £3 million. Personally, I like him as a player, but it means we recoup what we paid to Spurs, which isn’t a bad deal.

* The Kovacs deal looks done.

* The club is still ken to move Boa Morte and Faubert on elsewhere, but it looks increasingly unlikely.

That’s all. Unless, of course, you know different. Cyril…

PS Those too young to remember That’s Life won’t get that reference…

Vote for Scott Parker

January 29, 2009

The FA is running a competition for the player of the 4th round of the FA Cup. Scott Parker is one of the five players in the running. You can vote for him HERE (before 3 Feb).

Welcome Back Jeremy Nicholas

January 29, 2009

An email from a reader…

As a regular reader of your blog can I just say you missed a cracking game last night and if it wasn’t for the Hull goalie it would have been a very embarrassing score for Hull.

But the important thing was the atmosphere, and we all feel it was down to Jeremy being back – FatBoy Slim to start, Bubbles played properly, team read out properly – when reading our reserves he correctly saved the name of Savio to the end so we could cheer…….even with Hull he paused after reading out Garcia and Bullard for reaction from us……he know West Ham which is more than the last guy did. As we were filing out he read out the rest of the nights scores, making a humerous comment about our reaction to Bellamy scoring which had us all laughing.

Good times are back at Upton Park and we have Jeremy to thank for it.