Hartlepool Preview: Let’s Spank the Monkeys!

This won’t be a long preview as I’m not sure there’s a lot to say. In the form we are in we should expect to win this game and win it well. But we’re West Ham and we know things often don’t turn out like that in the FA Cup. I honestly don’t expect many changes to what has now become a fairly settled lineup. The midfield picks itself. Only in central defence may Zola decide to make a change, giving James Tomkins a runout in place of either Upson or Collins. After his goal and bright performance last week it would be odd if Di Michele didn’t start. However, if we’re a couple of goals to the good in the second half I’d expect Zola to make some imaginative use of his substitutes. Freddie Sears needs a game, in particular.

Apparently, we have never played Hartlepool in a competitive game before. Let’s make it one that Jeff Stelling won’t forget in a hurry – but for the wrong reasons!

* If you are wondering about the headline, it’s nothing to do with what you were probably thinking but a reference to the fact that the Hartlepool mascot H’Angus the Monkey was elected mayor of the town. Really.

UPDATE: Sky Sports have just sent me a text saying that our team lineup is: Lee-Barrett, Sweeney, Nelson, Clark, Humphreys, Monkhouse, Jones, Liddle, Robson, Mackay, Porter. Have I missed something in the transfer window?

UPDATE: This is the real lineup: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Collins, Ilunga, Behrami, Noble, Parker, Collison, Di Michele, Cole. Subs: Stech, Spector, Neill, Mullins,
Boa Morte, Tristan, Sears

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129 Responses to Hartlepool Preview: Let’s Spank the Monkeys!

  1. grayboguestmeister says:

    Interesting FA Cup facts:

    The second of West Ham’s three cup final winning line-ups in 1975 was the last to be comprised entirely of English born players.

    … but I guess most of you already knew that.

    I was there, but thankfully was not one of those who spoiled the memory by going on the pitch afterwards. Instead, went back to my Nan’s house in Neasden (don’t laugh), where she had prepared a celebratory cake with claret and blue icing.

    I am going to permit myself the luxury of watching today’s game on telly, with a nice baguette filled with bacon and onion, smothered in tomato ketchup.

    Might even sit there with the laptop to join in with any conversations going on here, if anyone else fancies that.

    I do hope the guys knuckle down to what could be a tricky tie, and it would be good if we didn’t pick up any silly injuries from this one.

    Up the Ammerzzzzzzz!!!!!

  2. grayboguestmeister says:

    p.s. did I read that earlier twitter entry, correctly, Iain? Did you really treat Ann Widdecombe to a spot of AC/DC? Boggles, Mind, The … rearrange to a well-known phrase.

  3. DevoDevo says:

    Very good, Iain!

    I have a good feeling about the FA cup this season and think we have the ammunition to go well.

    I don’t expect an easy game today, but still think we’ll triumph by a goal or two.

    Another interesting FA Cup fact: Hartlepool has never gone further than the 4th round. Let’s hope it stays that way!!

  4. devo says:

    Monkey Hanger is the affectionate term by which Hartlepudlians are often known by other residents of Great Britain.

    According to local folklore, during the Napoleonic wars, a French ship of the type chasse marée (literally, tide-chaser) was wrecked off the coast of Hartlepool. The only survivor was a monkey, wearing a French uniform (presumably to provide amusement for those onboard the ship). On finding the monkey, some locals decided to hold an impromptu trial on the beach; since the monkey was unable to answer their questions, and many locals were unaware of what a Frenchman may look like, they concluded that the monkey was in fact a French spy. Just to make sure, the animal was thus sentenced to death and hanged from the mast of a fishing boat on the Headland. Nowadays, many Hartlepudlians have positively embraced the term, and only a small minority still consider the term ‘Monkey Hanger’ offensive. It is often used to refer to supporters of Hartlepool United Football Club by supporters of their arch rivals Darlington.
    ]

    In 2002, Stuart Drummond campaigned for the office of Mayor of Hartlepool in the costume of the local football team’s mascot, ‘H’Angus the Monkey’. He narrowly won. His election slogan had been “free bananas for schoolchildren”, a promise he was unable to keep. Despite this, he stood again three years later and won with a landslide victory.

  5. Goatygav says:

    Worst thing I could possibly say, with my track record, is that I’ve got a good feeling about the cup this year. I really hope that we get to the quarter final stage. It’s where my hopes and dreams of Wembley start to come in to picture and I get the butterflies in the stomache that are bourne of excitement.

    May 10th 1980 seems a long time ago now. Let’s hope our turn’s come around again.

    Just been listening to discussions of cup replays on Talksport and was wondering what people’s feelings were about the old way of settling cup ties? Should it be penners after extra time in the first replay, should it be that way in the first game or should it go to replay after replay until one team goes through to the next round? I’m more interested to know about how people feel than their thoughts about the LOGIC and PRACTICALITY of fixture congestion.

    COYI!!!!

  6. Goatygav says:

    Graybo

    I’m on for a chat during the game mate.

    Hopefully speak later.

  7. grayboguestmeister says:

    I loved it when replays went on until the stalemate could be broken. Forget penalties, never-ending replays are much more fun. Like two old prize fighters slugging it out.

  8. chris says:

    Pint of the black stuff ,packet of nuts feet up watching the game lovely jubbly!!
    Fingers crossed no injuries!!!!!!

  9. chris says:

    h yeah misses has gone out for afternoon Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    No pace at centre half thou.

  10. jpt says:

    Slightly biased (in favour of Hartlepool of course) ITV commentary I feel!

  11. Goatygav says:

    Bright start. Even Faubert looking bright!

  12. Goatygav says:

    Nobes Not too far way with that one.

  13. scotch says:

    So I just saw the West Ham Hotel bit on Soccer Am. Yup, it was rather cool how they turn a room into an executive box.
    I feel you need to ‘fess up Iain, have you ever enjoyed that particular level of hospitality?

    I’m Celtic BTW.

  14. Goatygav says:

    The underdogs always get the backing JPT. I think most fans like to see David beat Goliath.

  15. grayboguestmeister says:

    My view is that Hartlepool are using a lot of energy chasing around … if they don’t get something in the first half they will tire. They will tire more quickly if we can keep the ball moving around to feet and showing patience.

    We do need to stop these aimless balls into the box, though.

  16. grayboguestmeister says:

    Bacon baguette with onions, ketchup and brie went down well… desperate for a cuppa now, though. Guaranteed a goal if I go and put the kettle on.

  17. Goatygav says:

    Not a bad shout Graybo. I agree with the commentators that there’s a lot of space in wide areas. Ideal for Ilunga to cause havoc.

  18. Goatygav says:

    My bacon sarnie was consumed while watching my oldest lad draw 1-1 this morning. Needed it, along with a hot tea, as it was freezin’.

  19. grayboguestmeister says:

    … better give that lino a cuppa… he looks frozen too

  20. chris says:

    Poor opening slow,etc.
    Is it me or does collinson seem to use the wrong parts of his foot!
    we need a left footer there badly!!!!

  21. chris says:

    wrong game for di michele totally asleep!!!

  22. grayboguestmeister says:

    yeah… do these guys actually practise kicking with their left foot? wouldn’t do any harm, would it. My old man used to force me into using my left foot, and once when I took a penalty with my right foot one of my team-mates asked me afterwards why I had taken it with my ‘wrong’ foot.

  23. Goatygav says:

    You’ve got to be kiddin about Collison – he’s class.

  24. grayboguestmeister says:

    Parker setting good example with battling attitude when they have the ball. No room for posers today, so follow the lead, boys

  25. Goatygav says:

    I agree more players should be able to use both feet though – Get my lad to use alternate pegs when passing and controlling.

  26. Goatygav says:

    Good to see Tomka get a start.

  27. grayboguestmeister says:

    Goatygav… get him to practise keepie uppies with the rule that it has to be alternate feet or thighs, not allowed to use same peg in succession… very challenging for a youngster but well worth it

  28. chris says:

    we are being out fought here,collinson’s struggling being right footed on the left.
    noble and parker are only ones showing quality.

  29. Goatygav says:

    Very challenging for me mate – never mind about – (wait, is someone going to shoot or what – no – just get in each other’s way) – a 6 year old

  30. grayboguestmeister says:

    Just a thought… wouldn’t it be ironic if we were all tapping away on laptops but all within reach of the same local? We could make a dash for it at half-time.

    I’m in Cambs …

  31. Goatygav says:

    Cheers for the tip Graybo – I’m up for any drills that improve his touch. Far as I’m concerned it’s all about developing touch and control at his age.

  32. Goatygav says:

    Sorry mate – High Wycombe.

  33. grayboguestmeister says:

    Chris, I think for now we just need a bit of grit and determination. they are throwing everything at us. Nice little touch from Collison a while ago when he and Behrami were going for the same ball. he dug it out and worked some space with some good skills.

  34. grayboguestmeister says:

    you’re kidding… I used to live in High Wycombe. Went to the John Hampden School

  35. chris says:

    No pace in our team now bellamys gone.
    Could you tell the prem team here?

  36. Goatygav says:

    Small world. Very good school too – Bloke who lives opposite is a teacher there.

  37. chris says:

    Oh dear cole clear on goal to much time had to think
    remember Harwood!

  38. Goatygav says:

    Carlton a little hesitant there – should’ve got the shot away. Still think he’s got to work on the opportunities where he’s got time to think about it.

  39. Goatygav says:

    Couldn’t see your post while I was typing there Chris.

  40. grayboguestmeister says:

    no, not really, Chris… but I think it’s purely down to Hartlepool’s hassling and harrying. We will be ok, but I agree about Di Michele not having much involvement.

    that was a ridiculous over-reaction to Cole’s challenge, wasn’t it?

    you could see what he was trying to do.. . just trying to get his foot round the ball

  41. grayboguestmeister says:

    calm down, boys… keep your focus

  42. chris says:

    cole done nothing wrong 50 50 ball!
    BUT WHERE IS DI MICHELE!!!!!!!

  43. grayboguestmeister says:

    chris, he’s off the pace… probably never experienced anything like this, and bear in mind he is probably not anywhere near match sharp

    WWWWWWAAAAHAAAYAYAYAAYAYAY

  44. chris says:

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111

  45. Goatygav says:

    I don’t think Di Mic’s the kind of player that makes himself too visible during a game. He seems to be a bit of a poacher who can pop up and nick a goal at any time. In fairness to him I reckon he’d have put away Cole’s chance – just because he’s more experienced and cooler in front of goal.

  46. chris says:

    Is dyer on the bench or injured again?

  47. grayboguestmeister says:

    RIGHT… let’s get Freddie on for the second half

  48. grayboguestmeister says:

    what a good finish

    AND WITH THE LEFT FOOT!!!!

  49. Goatygav says:

    Did you get that before me Chris?

    GET IN THERE!!!!!!! It’s always a good time to score but that was .

    AAAAAHHHH. I hit rewind on the Skyplus earlier and am about 30 seconds behind.

  50. grayboguestmeister says:

    HA HA… Goatygav

    did we spoil it for you?

  51. chris says:

    Bets on the miss please!!!!

  52. Goatygav says:

    That was a bit weird – hearing from you about the goal.

  53. grayboguestmeister says:

    taht was never a pen, was it

  54. Goatygav says:

    I’m back with it- great penner Nobes.

    Missed how the penner was awarded though.

  55. grayboguestmeister says:

    nice finish, though, from the spot

    right… kettle on, chaps… or something a little stronger?

  56. chris says:

    YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!
    More of the black stuff.
    Bad game thou,what do you reckon guys!!

  57. grayboguestmeister says:

    Someone asked about Dyer… I read that he’d picked up a strain, but I thought he was on the bench… better to keep him away from this sort of clash, though, bearing in mind how he broke his leg

  58. grayboguestmeister says:

    Well, it’s only a bad game if you want to see everyone strolling around playing chess. I know what you mean, though Chris.

    Good cup tie, with plenty of the right attitude from our guys. Nice to see that it actually matters to them.

  59. Goatygav says:

    Typical scrappy tie vs a team that just want to make it difficult for us. I wouldn’t want to take anything away from Hartlepool as they’ve done quite well. They’re very workmanlike with good movement off the ball. I reckon we’ve done ok to be fair – we’ve had to. Credit the Monkeyhangers – they’re not a bad outfit at all.

  60. Goatygav says:

    Don’t know if you noticed but Greeno got away with it a bit when he came for a punch and completely missed – he was lucky with that one.

    Nobes gave the ball away in midfield for their best chance too. The lad needs to get busier and raise his energy levels a bit.

  61. grayboguestmeister says:

    Ok, top ten favourite places in High Wycombe.

    1 Hughenden Park
    2 Pitch 4 on the Rye
    3 Priory Road primary school
    4 Hazlemere Rec football pitches
    5 Wycombe High School for Girls ;o)
    6 Lady Verney School for Girls ;o) (now no more, I gather)
    7 Imperial Stores in the High Street
    8 The Chiltern Rooms disco
    9 Slightly further afield… Friars, Aylesbury (loads of good acts when they were up and coming
    10 The tennis courts at Bassetsbury Manor

  62. chris says:

    Agreed goatygav we need to pick up the pace of our passing and rip this lot to shreds.
    Wanna see tristan badly!!!!
    Question………….Do you think will ever see dyer. Honestly!

  63. grayboguestmeister says:

    oh dear… analysts are saying 0-2 is a funny scoreline… oh, please…

  64. Goatygav says:

    The place has changed massively Graybo. The old Bus Garage and car park to the West of Tescos is now called Eden and Has a Huge House of Fraser, M&S, 12 Cinema Screens, Bowling Alley, Resturaunts, the new Bus Garage and tons of new shops. They spent £300M on it. Still developing more around the town which is good as it seems to have countered the Credit Crunch.

    I used to play for the Wendover Arms on a Sunday morning so I remember several pitches on the Rye but our home ground was the Cressex School’s pitch 1.

  65. chris says:

    oh yeah games like this show the players with quality,as you have more time on the ball,so lets see.I’m waiting to see ilungas crossing ability,never seen it much,rate him thou.

  66. Goatygav says:

    I really hope that Dyer gets back to his menacing best. He’s one heck of a handful when he’s on his game. He creates so much from the left that I reckon he’d grace any side in the Prem.

  67. Benfleet hammer says:

    One worry. Upson didn’t play in the third round and isn’t out there today, should we be. Concerned?

  68. grayboguestmeister says:

    My team was Hughenden Rangers FC on a Sunday, and before that Totteridge Wanderers at youth level. We used to kick off at 10.30 on Saturday morning and then Dad and I would rush to get the 12.32 from High Wycombe to Marylebone and trundle across London from Baker Street to Upton Park.

    Happy days.

    Now… back to this match…

  69. grayboguestmeister says:

    Looking like a sensible decision to give Upson a rest

  70. Goatygav says:

    Sounds great mate – hope to do the same with my lads when they get a bit older.

  71. grayboguestmeister says:

    I wonder if he might take Cole off, to give him a rest and reduce risk of a silly second yellow card… sharpen up di Michele by leaving him on

  72. Goatygav says:

    Co-incidence number 2 I used to work in Baker Street.

  73. Goatygav says:

    Bit early for me Iain. Got the kids to look after too.

  74. grayboguestmeister says:

    Has Parker gone off at half-time~?

  75. chris says:

    got a scotch and coke if you want one.

  76. Goatygav says:

    Oops – put your foot behind the ball Herita.

  77. grayboguestmeister says:

    Steady on, Chris, black stuff followed by Scotch… don’t peak too soon ;o)

  78. Goatygav says:

    What time’s the Mrs back Chris? You might wanna disappear off down the pub before she gets back eh?

  79. grayboguestmeister says:

    or under the table

  80. grayboguestmeister says:

    Come on, boys!! Play it to feet…. keep the ball

  81. Goatygav says:

    Lol! By choice or lack of conciousness?

  82. Goatygav says:

    Toatlly agree. We should be looking to put some passes together and then opening them up.

  83. Goatygav says:

    What a great tackle that was. Played nothing but the ball there.

  84. grayboguestmeister says:

    diabolical free kick and yellow card … great tackle

  85. grayboguestmeister says:

    mind you, we can’t complain, after that penalty

  86. grayboguestmeister says:

    phew!

  87. Goatygav says:

    Ref’s doing his best to ruin a potentially good game.

  88. grayboguestmeister says:

    Hey up… looks like Chris has gone for a top-up

  89. Goatygav says:

    Either that or passed out.

  90. grayboguestmeister says:

    aaaghghghg… lbm

  91. grayboguestmeister says:

    We need to up the pace a bit … well left, Greenie

  92. Goatygav says:

    Not a bad strike that.

  93. grayboguestmeister says:

    Tomkinson’s school days is doing well

  94. Goatygav says:

    I rate him very highly. Yes he’s in-experienced but he’s every bit as talented as Rio Ferdinand was but with better defensive instincts in my opinion.

  95. grayboguestmeister says:

    I really think we need to get Cole off before the ref gets a rush of blood and books him again next time he tackles someone.

  96. Goatygav says:

    Give it 5 then give Freddy a run out?

  97. grayboguestmeister says:

    yes, in place of LBM

  98. Goatygav says:

    Tactically sound sub from Zola with Mullins for Di Mic.

  99. Goatygav says:

    Is it me or has their right back got LBM in his pocket?

  100. Goatygav says:

    I’ve seen ’em given. His foot did end up in the keeper’s face.

  101. grayboguestmeister says:

    Get Cole off

  102. grayboguestmeister says:

    phew… that’s a relief

  103. Goatygav says:

    That’s it lads – a bit of keep-ball.

  104. grayboguestmeister says:

    Deffo….

    but of more concern for me… where’s Chris gone?

  105. Goatygav says:

    A few possibilities: –

    1. He’s passed out
    2. His missus has come home and murdered him
    3. He’s taken my advice and disappeared down the pub
    or
    4. Alien Abduction

  106. grayboguestmeister says:

    Well, so far it’s been a good all round team effort, but are we going for Tomkinson’s school days as MOTM

  107. grayboguestmeister says:

    No. 2

  108. Goatygav says:

    I’ll go along with that.

    Very professional performance. Exactly the right tactics on the day.

  109. grayboguestmeister says:

    Is there anything more amusing than a stadium full of people wearing ridiculous hats, wigs, Jimmy Hill masks, Jeff Stelling masks, et al, looking glumly on as their team loses 2-0

  110. Goatygav says:

    Bless ’em.

    They’ve gone for Parker as MOTM. Fair shout but I reckon Tomka’s been solid as you like.

  111. grayboguestmeister says:

    OK, so it’s Scott Parker… yes, he has set a very good example in terms of commitment, clever possession and generally doing a very professional job

  112. Goatygav says:

    Yep – Happy Hammer all round.

  113. grayboguestmeister says:

    Right… back to the real world in a minute…nice sharing the match with you Goatygav and Chris (he’s got bored and gone to the paper shop or something).

    Well done Hartlepool… you made us work for it and you enjoyed your day.

  114. Goatygav says:

    Will be turning over to SkySports News to see the aforementioned Mr Stelling’s response very shortly.

  115. DevoDevo says:

    Another professional job on how to beat a lower division side.

    Different side to the one under Curbishley.

    Well done to those hardy souls that made the trip up. First in the 5th round draw!!!!

    COYI.

  116. chris says:

    ok we won but still feeling that we missed something going forward,but a wins a win,well done lads.
    Been behind LBM for sometime but no more he has had his last game for me sorry LBM you have had plenty of time.

  117. Goatygav says:

    Cheers Graybo – good chatting with you mate.

    Let’s hope we get a decent draw in the next round.

  118. grayboguestmeister says:

    Gave up Sky Sports subscription this year due to expense of t

  119. Goatygav says:

    Thank goodness for that Chris. We feared the worst.

  120. grayboguestmeister says:

    Well done, lads

  121. grayboguestmeister says:

    GZ has pulled. Dirty boy, as Harry Hill would say

  122. Goatygav says:

    Good on you Graybo. If more were like you then Football would become the working man’s sport again.

  123. grayboguestmeister says:

    Phew! Chris is alive… you had us worried there, pal

  124. chris says:

    Enjoyed the chat with you guys,misses is back,OPPs!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the dishwasher!

  125. Goatygav says:

    Lol! Enjoy the rest of the weekend fellas.

    Stelling just did a very poor Obama joke BTW.

  126. grayboguestmeister says:

    CHRIS!! You’ve reminded me, I’m supposed to have done some hoovering. Yikes!

  127. Tevezgate says:

    Curbishley’s post match remark said it all… “the Cup is important to clubs like West Ham… no disrespect to them” Those are the words of a man totallydevoid of ambition, he would have been happy with mid table mediocrity, anonymity and the occasional cup run… thank god the board saw the light. We’re nowhere near it yet, but at least with Zola you feel we have some ambition to achieve and maybe challenge the top four one day. And I cannot express in words how good it is to see West Ham playing the game as it should be played after so long in the wilderness of the long ball, hit asnd hope game.

    COYI!!

  128. scotch says:

    Must be about time you were rewarded for your ardent and strident faith then Iain.

    (Good result, well done).

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