Lest We Forget…

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.

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95 Responses to Lest We Forget…

  1. Mike says:

    excellent bloody post Ian! Really enjoyed that mate, and roll on United next Sunday… that is guna be one hell of a game in front of the cameras! Come on you Irons! 🙂

  2. HAMMER TIME says:

    I as a West Ham fan can admit i was slightly concerned about our league position 6weeks back , but can also say that i never ever judged the job of whhich Gianfranco Zola, Steve Clarke, Gianluca Nani and Scott Duxbury were doing. I have always had faith in them and despite not always winning games i knew they were the right people to turn our positive displays into victories and draws with against the top dogs!.

  3. Upton Spark says:

    It’s unbelievable really that our form could possibly take us to a whisker of a European spot.
    It’s also unbelievable to think that Foebert is going to Real Madrid on loan,(they won’t keep him)and they are willing to pay us over 1 million pounds for his services,surely not,yes it’s true.WOW!!!
    As someone once said”It’s a funny old game”.
    Anything is possible in football,and anything is possible at West Ham.
    Spurs lost today as well,great!! Life can’t get much better.

  4. Roshi says:

    Good post Iain, this is what being a West Ham fan is all about.
    It seems that we really had to batten down the hatches today and do an Arsenal on Arsenal, fancy that, think back to when we couldn’t keep a clean sheet.
    I’m so excited about the way this team is beginning to click and you can only put that down to the way GK and Clark are enjoying this job, because the enthusiasm in a short space of time that seems to go through the whole club is incredible. Long may it continue.

    Caught me out with Nehrami, thought we had signed a new player, then realised B is next to N on the keyboard. roll on MOTD

  5. DagenhamHammer says:

    Spot on Iain. I haven’t felt this positive about the team’s fortunes in a long time. Today was all about grinding out a result but lately the football has been FANTASTIC!!

  6. mick whu says:

    To true Iain, to true. Good site, I always enjoy the read. COYI.

  7. Big_Casino says:

    I’ve been a fan of Zola and Clarke from day one, and even when we weren’t getting the results I stood by them…. cos I think apart from the Watford cup game and the home game with Spurs, we’ve played very well.. we just weren’t getting the results so much before Xmas.

    I do have to hold my hands up and say I’ve been critical of Cole before, but you cannot say it wasn’t deserved. He wasn’t scoring goals, his touch, passing and finishing was abysmal and the fans had a right to vent their frustration… And credit to him, he has responded… he’s put in the work on the training ground and started scoring regularly, and the fans are giving him the plaudits…

    That’s football.. when you’re not doing your job well enough, the fans well let you know about it… but equally they’ll recognise when a player is doing the job… that’s not being fickle, it’s just telling players how it is…..

    COYI

  8. Roshi says:

    Did anyone catch Zola’s laugh at the bench after he shook hands with Wenger, who had his “we should have won constipated face on”.
    Zola looked at the bench, hunched his shoulders and made a face as if to say “did you see his expression,
    poor old Wenger…ha..ha”.
    Look out for it on MOTD.

  9. Martin of Surbiton says:

    John Motson did quite a good summary of our progress since Christmas on Football Focus this lunchtime (although he did not say that actually we did not deserve to lose against Aston Villa) and I’m sure I’m not the only one who pinched themselves, thinking that for the first time in, well, decades, our Club is starting to deliver to match our dreams; fading and dying they are not in 2009. Frankly, we were stuffed 0-0 today but our brilliant defence held out for 95 minutes and I felt really proud. I said it here soon after his appointment that Steve Clarke was a significant signing and we all know that only happened because GZ was here. When did we last have such a truly charismatic leader?

  10. Craigywhu says:

    Ian, Great post. Another good performance today, They had lots of posession, but it was always in front of us, and they never really hurt us, and there set peices were awful! Really looking forward to next Sunday. COYI

  11. oz ex chicken runner says:

    Well said Iain, I have been happy with Zola/Clarke from the start but I too was very concerned over some players continually palying when they were obviously not upto standard, namely Faubert, BoaMorte and Cole who you must admit was terrible at times. He has come good though with his goals but I thought again yesterday that he failed to hold the ball up and keep possession..(mind you i am only watching on TV) but I felt that was our only fault in that when we had the ball we failed to keep it. Defensively , brilliant and our midfiled is fast becoming one of the best around. Parker MOM again for me, he was everywhere, Upson & Collins did not let their forwards in with hardly a sniff, Green was solid with little to do really as we defended so well, Illunga was excellent…even Neill had a good game!! Up front Michelle was lively but we did not give a lot of good service to the forwards but hey, this is still Arsenal and we went there and did the job…and we had a confident feel to our game,no player was in awe of them and bring on united next week, with the same confident feel we should give them a good game too. Just get through the next couple of days and shut the window tight! Proud of the hammers!!

  12. Basildon Bob says:

    A real “we shall fight them on the beaches” post, great read.

    Despite my own initial reservations over Zola’s appointment (again not because of the Chelski connection, rather his lack of experience) he has shown the guile and determination of a lion to succeed. Both he and Clark bring a positive outlook to the club. Players who we all thought futures lay elsewhere are now committed to the cause, with some of the players who we thought may be bombed out following Curbs departure are looking irreplaceable.

    Dare I say it, but can we start dreaming again? COYI.

  13. Metcow says:

    Great post Iain. Things really do feel good now for us Hammers.
    The thing that makes me feel so excited about it all is the idea that we actually have a plan for now and for the future. The fact that we have a coaching setup that are clearly able to improve the players we have. Many individuals have improved significantly since Zola and Clarke have been at the club.
    I only wish that the tevez stuff was out of the way completely and that we knew just how secure the future off the pitch was. Maybe it’s just being a West Ham fan that makes me think there must be a sucker punch just around the corner?

  14. oz ex chicken runner says:

    Roshi.. yer we saw the look Wenger gave…”teams come here and defend with 5 across the middle and it makes it very hard for a team to play (crazy). I was pleased with our movement (crazy) and in the second half we tried to score (crazy)but we could not..blah blah blah….so we shall put in a bid for Upson, Green, Behrami, Parker and just for fun Nsereko and we shall have a team…Crazy….”
    Sorry Wenger but your team just does not have it at the moment…mind you there were some top players missing…he is never gracious in defeat eh? Still remember his little tussle with Pardew…

  15. jon.london colney says:

    just a thought,

    we are where we are through excellent management and complete team spirit.next step you ask?
    how about bringing in mr di canio to lift the roof of the place and bring that extra edge to a game? i for one believe we as a club would be invinceable !

    great result today but sky said it was one way traffic all game so will be interested to acually see it later on footy first.coyi

  16. harrisharrison says:

    Just a note of apprehension. I am a West Ham fan after all. Has Zola enhanced his reputation far enough in this short space of time to attract covetous glances from across London? Things have turned sour of late for Scolari and Chelsea, and Abramovich may be looking for another summer reshuffle. We’ve always been a club with a knack of bringing young players through only for them to leave for bigger things. Is the same thing about to happen with a manager? I hope not. I haven’t enjoyed watching West Ham for…well…ever.

  17. Martin of Surbiton says:

    I’m no Wenger fan usually, but this is what he said on the Beeb today:

    “They defended very well as a team and we had very few chances. Although it was a derby it was a fair one and we gave absolutely everything, but couldn’t get that one goal that would have given us all three points.

    I’m convinced that West Ham’s defence produced a quality performance today, you have to accept that. Usually we get a goal in the last fifteen minutes when teams defend like that but today we couldn’t get it. ”

    Quite right,Arsene.

  18. geoff says:

    jon, it was one way traffic, but Green only made 1 save. Collins and Upson were superb. Neil and Ilunga played their part, and the midfield must be the hardest working midfield in the country right now. Next week will be a great test, but we can’t slip down the league whatever the result. Zola and Clarke have been absolutely fantastic. I nearly gave up my season ticket watching Curbs side. Let’s finish the season in style and wait and see what happens in the summer. More chanting of Zola’s (and Clarkes) name next week required. COYI

  19. DevoDevo says:

    My views were exactly the same as Big Casino’s. Even when we were losing consecutive games, I stood by the Zola/Clarke partnership on here. It was plain to see the improvement in the side and the way it played. It was also plain to see that Carlton Cole wasn’t putting it all in, which he himself has acknowledged this week Fair play to him, he has improved bundles and worked tirelessly today almost unsupported throughout the 90 minutes. He still need sto show some subltedy when one on one, but I’m sure GZ can help him acheive this.

    It’s hard to fathom where THAT performance against Spurs come from, but that aside the team has been superb and should have picked up wins at Chelsea and Newcastle as well.

    I sincerely hope that when we go to the Lane we turn it on and put another nail in Arry’s relegation coffin.

  20. mac says:

    Loved Zola’s ‘check out Mr Frosty’ look just after he’d shaken Wenger’s hand. Hilarious!

  21. Berkshire Hammer says:

    Iain,

    Great post.

    Thought that Wednesday game would be a great game to see how far we have come. Under the old West Ham we would have missed the chances we had and lost 1-0. But we came away 2-0 winners and it could have easily been 5-0.
    Know we have a great record of late against the Gonners away but to take a point was fantastic. Roll on the Mancs next week (first time I can remember saying)

    *is remembering Di-Canio, Bartez moment and hoping we can do it again*

  22. chris says:

    Meaningful post, well done Iain.
    we got what we set out to do.
    Fullbacks never really pushed on today midfield all sat deep,so was not suprised to see a quite game from noble and collinson,well done all.

  23. stomper says:

    Great. But I’m gonna wake up tomorrow to find us in the bottom three and bobby was only in the shower.

  24. warren says:

    Spot on mate, i felt the same 6 weeks ago, Europe here we come

  25. Richard says:

    Hi Iain, Good Post, you have summed it up being a West Ham fan, the emotional roller coaster its been over the years. But now I believe we have a strong manangment team who know how a football club should be run!. I have alos had faith with Zola, Clarke, but not sure on Scott duxbury. I am pleased he has been true to his word, and only sold fringe players. Bring Man U. !!!
    Once again a excellent Blog!.

  26. Whitey says:

    Nice show of respect from Wenger today with his claret and blue shirt and tie combo !

    Respect to Zola, Clark, Nani, Mike and Kevin and the team. I genuinely EXPECTED at least a point at the Emirates today. Enough said.

  27. DevoDevo says:

    I thought you’d like this…..

    1 Manchester United 6 6 0 0 6 0 12 0 +12 18 3.00
    2 West Ham United 6 4 2 0 2 1 13 5 +8 14 2.33
    3 Aston Villa 6 4 2 0 3 1 8 4 +4 14 2.33
    4 Arsenal 6 3 3 0 3 1 8 4 +4 12 2.00

  28. Whitey says:

    Also, how sweet to be the team to break Uniteds clean sheet streak.

  29. irontc says:

    Excellent, Churchillian post Mr Dale.

    On Wednesday night the troops were rallied.

    Today we were fighting them on the beaches.

    What next ? Could it be a march on the Continent!

    COYIs!

  30. brayhammer says:

    Great post and blog Iain keep it going mate . . on the joy of a point at The Library and actually looking forward to playing Man Ure next week . . score the first goal against them in years and beat them!! COYI!!!!

  31. Rob says:

    BEST POST EVER.

  32. Kim says:

    We did well today. Happy bunny but bloody cold. I thought it was only us but there is no hot water in the toilets at Arsenal either. It is now past 10.30 and still cant get warm…. brrr. I will miss the Man U game and the cup game as I am skiing (cue the violins). Please give me lots of reasons to be happy in Italy. We are the best COYI!!!!!

  33. Eddie Chappers says:

    Great thread…..met up with some Arsenal boys after the game today and all they could say about the game was negativity—all I had to say to them was we had more forward players/strikers on the pitch at one point than they did- Savio/ DiMichelle/ Cole! It was a disappointingly unenjoyable game of football but to call us boltonesque(as they did) was unfair, as we tried to play good football but it was in fact Arsenal packing the midfield with loads of possession but no cutting edge.

    The only two things I can take away from the game is 1)that we are improving with every game to the point of making us almost unbeatable and 2)that we have fantastic support.

  34. Andrew Dale says:

    Hi Iain, I don’t usually write in to these posts but after reading this brilliant blog, I couldn’t help but congraduate you. I am an avid reader of this blog even though I don’t usually comment. Thank you again for the good work.

  35. jpt says:

    Well said.
    Zola is first class.
    I’m cock a hoop at the moment I don’t mind telling you.
    I just wish Sheff Utd would stop trying to rain on the parade…

  36. Jaime says:

    Brilliant. Sums everything up to a tee!

  37. shep says:

    I think you’ve had a Joe Kinnear moment there mate … Nehrami ?

  38. wickfordriver says:

    iain….you old devil you,…..

  39. jon.london colney says:

    good old motd,last on and nothing said!!!! biased or what!!!if arse had one they would have rattled on for ages about can they win the tittle !!!! muppets

  40. alanalandevonshire says:

    Arsenal must have been playing someone the BBC really don’t like, last on for them. When does that ever happen…………

  41. SJ Chandos says:

    This was a result won by organisation, discipline and sheer hard work. The defence and midfield were magnificant and worked like Trojans. That’s three fighting away draws against Chelski, Liverpool and Arsenal, bad teams do not get those types of results!

    It is true that there was a prevalent mood of deep depression and resignation after the Spurs result. I personally, always had a belief that things would come right under Zola and Clarke and the club would do the right thing in the transfer window. They have not disappointed me, I am glad to say!

    I said this game would be a true bench mark for the Zola/Clarke regime and it was. It showed that we have a first class spine of international class players, good organisation in defence and a very strong midfield. It also showed that we will need to continue to improve on our possession, movement and forward play to get in amongst the top teams. But that’s fine, because that is what will be developed and refined over the next couple of seasons, whilst maintaining our current strengths.

    In short, all good teams have a strong spine and build from the back. we have that now. We have the basis of a very good team in the making and, and all things being even, we have every reason to be optimistic for the future of our club.

  42. Roshi says:

    BBC are rubbish, could of gone to bed and watched the recording in the morning………be up soon dear!

  43. SJ Chandos says:

    I said that two points would be a reasonable return against the gooners and Man Utd, we have achieved the first part of that. A point against Man Utd Sunday week would be a satisfactory result, but I would not be surprised at all if we captured all three.

    As others have said, the away support today was magnificant today, as always. My fellows Hammers fans are, without doubt the best informed, loyal and vocal in the PL. No doubt about it at all.

  44. Roy says:

    Good post Iain, best to read it with “Land of Hope and Glory” playing in the background.

  45. David the Yank says:

    Had to watch w/ Chinese language today from NYC. Best thing about today is with 20 minutes left and Van Persie just on, instead of substituting out strikers and bringing on Spector/Mullins as in years past for extra defense, Zola takes off Noble for Savio (3 strikers) and then Boa Morte for di Michele. So stayed with 3 attack-men and tried to poach a winner.

    After calling Cole the worst striker in the Premier League a few weeks ago, I was pleased to see how he played against the minnows the last few weeks. Against a real team, he reverted to poor touches, bad decisions and no shot. But I’ll give him an off game. He actually made a great pass to Collison, who had di Michele flying in for the Hammers’ one chance, but Collison flubbed it.

    I thought Collins was massive in the air today! Better even than Upson, who allowed Adebayor that absolutely free header that 25 choked. Upson was excellent otherwise, and I thought Green played as good positionally and getting crosses as I have ever seen him. He has been a great shot-stopper, but not always great on set pieces (I’m biased, but the American keepers like Friedel & Howard have been better.) Green’s punch-outs saved the day a couple of times on some of the 13 corners defended. If he plays like that, Capello will be insane not to let him play for you guys.

    Savio was pushed around and appears not ready. Needs better fitness and needs to wake up to the speed, which I am sure he will…

  46. SJ Chandos says:

    The Independent reckon that West Ham have enquired about Henrick Larsson. Larsson is class even at 37 and it would be a education for the likes of Cole and Sears to even train with him, let alone play along side him. I for one hope that this is true, as it would be a good, short-term solution to the need for cover up front.

  47. HammersWest says:

    Great Post Iain,
    made the hairs on my arms stand up, you are absolutely on the money. I support the Hammers whatever is happening, but it hasn’t been so satisfying since Brooking, Devo and Bonzo. Long may it last, even if we lose a couple, and I don’t think we shall, we are so much better than even two months ago.
    GZ and Clarke are PRICELESS

  48. HammersWest says:

    I see on goal.com that Faubert has passed his medical and is good to go, (what no smokers cough 🙂 ) I’m sure I’ll wake up soon.

  49. Gavva says:

    I normally watch the Hammers away at Arsenal from behind the sofa! However I’ve never felt more at ease today. The way we pass out from defense in tight neat triangles instead of hoofing, is a real pleasure, and a measure of the confidence that Zola and Clarke has instilled in the boys. Also a brief cameo from Savio was interesting. Could he be our new Joe Cole?
    I’ve stopped looking at the teams below (apart from the soap opera at WHL!). We’re only 4 points from Everton.
    The back of my sofa’s ‘gonna get dusty!

  50. Ozuptonparker says:

    Great post.

    Great result.

    For me (B)Nehrami was excellent today, how many times did he nip in to close down or win a tackle, he helped out Neill no end in the 1st half? Neill looked vunerable the 1st 45, thankfully he improved in the 2nd, pushing forward, probing. Andy Gray sounded surprised that we lined up with Cole one up with Di Michele tucked in and 4 across the middle, early doors it looked suspect but our pressure on the ball carrier forced Arse to play a style of football bordering on exhibition, no wonder they struggle to raise a murmur amongst 60 000. Nice to see Clarke and Zola share a little man hug at the end whilst Wenger could only gesticulate with Pat Rice and scour.
    With Man U up next a cheeky win or 2 all draw could see Zola in the running for Manager of the Month…Happy days

  51. Justin says:

    I have just finished watching “Life on Mars” and can not help but worry i am going to wake up in hospital with a very different league table awaiting my recovery. We all feared the worst but the futures bright the futures zola/clarke

    roll on the mancs next week

  52. Pablo says:

    Good call Iain. Let’s face it, we’re going to lose a game or two during the remainder of the season and we’re going to get pissed off with the board and the team at some point, but let’s take a moment to recognise how this team are playing right now and how GZ/SC have motivated them to perform at the highest level. This is one of the most promising periods I can remember in recent years, I really hope the curse of my birthright (born in Bow) doesn’t bite me on the arse now I’ve said this.

  53. Auzhammer says:

    Great words Iain. I think we have all got to eat some humble pie. I for sure felt we were heading down. Our biggest worry now is that some moneybags team will snap GZ and SC up as I fear someone is to be beheaded soon. Keep the great stuff going, dont forget some of the rubbish we were banging out under Curbs.

  54. WHU Kim says:

    Great rousing read Iain, Love it!

  55. lotf says:

    great post and great result.

    I’m sure Zola will be disappointed that we only had 2 shots (according to match stats) and I fully expect to see better attacking play against man u in our next came. that said, fantastic defensive performance from the lads. It’s great to see them still playing like a team and very much looking like more than the sum of their parts.

    the bubble has not yet faded and died. fortune is out in the open. COYI.

  56. SJ Chandos says:

    I think my first words posted on this site were ‘How depressing is it on here!’ That was in the dark days after the Spurs defeat when some people were making sweeping statements about having a Championship quality squad, losing all our best players in January and being relegated in May!

    The terrain has been radically transformed, for the better, since then and everyone is far more positive about the club’s prospects for the future. Indeed, things are starting to look very bright concerning all things West Ham.

    West Ham Till I Die is the best Hammers Blog on the web and the contributors are certainly the best and most civil. I just wanted to say how enjoyable it has been participating and exchanging views with fellow fans in the last couple of months. It’s the first time that I have actually posted on a West Ham site, and I am really glad that I chose this one.

  57. ironsmith says:

    Iain,thank you for such an inspired post and I along with the legions of other West Ham fans can reap great satisfaction from our recent performances both on and off the pitch(although in fairness we have played magnificently since Zola arrived). This present feel good factor is hardly surprising for me as it is merely a reflection of the fact that Zola and Clarke backed up by the most capable Nani and Duxberry is probably the best management team in the PL right now. Simply the best!

  58. oz ex chicken runner says:

    We had 5 managers for our first 90+ years as a club and have had 8 since 1988 (including Sir Trev), I sincerely hope that GZ/SC are going to be here for a long time to really push our club forward. I am encouraged by the fact that they seem to be getting the backing they deserve from the board and the fans. GZ has said he wants a smaller squad and it it will be good that when during a match that things may not be going as well as we like that he can look to the bench and bring on quality players that could perhaps turn the game in our favour and not one that is just full of average squad players. It ceratinly seems that he is heading in the right direction. John Terry said that he was pleased for Zola to gain EPL management experience and that one day he may manage Chelski…I hope that day is many , many years away…if ever. You only have to look at Fergie to see what experience at a club can do..we need Zola and Clarke to be here for many years and then I believe we will become one of the top teams…in my eyes we always have been but success proves it.

  59. Hammered in Singapore says:

    To all the TV pundits, to all the football journalists and so called ‘experts’ – ‘you called the demise of West Ham wrongly.’ The transfer window shuts with a strengthened West Ham, not a weakened one? It’s so gratifying to see Upson, Parker and Greene stay. It shows their total respect and regard for Zola and Clarke and the direction they are taking West Ham. By staying it shows Collison, Noble and all the young exciting talent coming through West Ham are on the way to something special. With Savio and Kovac coming in it shows the Board are committed to growing West Ham as a team with a blend of exciting youth and experience. Importantly, to the players on Zola and Clarke’s wish list, this new West Ham is a club that has changed and is a team you’d want to play for. Even with just 24 hours or so left Clarke’s talking about another new face before the window shuts – this for a team that so many ‘experts’ said would be dead and buried come the end of January. To Craig Bellamy a special mention, ‘you fickle young man, the grass is not always greener mate, like many a pundit you called wrong.’

    It’s great to be a Hammer!

  60. Google says:

    Is there a name for the symbol when a Hammers fan crosses their arms in support of the club?

  61. Auckland Hammer says:

    Great call Iain. Shes all moving along very nicely at present. Clarke is very much getting our house in order. Confidence and bags of it over the past few weeks. Passing like we all know and love stroking the ball about the place. Where to start with the team – Green is Englands NO 1 , Collins is massive would stick his head into a cement mixer if he had too – Ilunga aka Mr Cool nothing phases the guy , my pick so far is Behrami what an engine on this guy runs and runs all day long and tackels like a mad man ! Happy days at last and well deserved to one and all , 6th place is where we should be gunning for bring on some european football nights again ! Cheers from a nice and hot Auckland !!!

  62. SwedeHammer says:

    Thank you Ian,
    May I just ad that we come from all different walks of life in different parts of the world. I am a Swede living in LA who has been a “Hammer” since the age of 12. Now in my late forties I take pride in being a West Ham fan and taking part of seeing a team moving forward. I enjoyed the -86 team reaching levels of success not common to us hard core fans. I have now a sense and a taste of winning that is quite unfamiliar but therefore not less appreciated. To experience this stretch of success just reminds us what it is like to be a supporter of one of the greatest team. It is not about the amounts of achievements but the quality of improvement and how we embrace our team, that makes us unique as…West Ham supporters

  63. IOWHammer says:

    Had to get up early, got the young neices & nephew staying and they got up about 5:30 but as they watch the kiddies tv i turn on the computor and that post Iain has made getting up early well worth it. Spot on mate. When Curbs. left it looked like another down turn for the club. Bringing in Zola was a real gamble. I think we all wanted to believe but felt very unsure of how things were going to go. Bringing in Clarke setteled alot of nerves, we all know the effect he had at chelsea. Gradually we have seen the revival of our great club. I felt the games against the arse. & the mancs. would show us how far we have really come and so far so good. We defended with real disipline and but for two chances never looked like conceding. We still have a way to go to compete at that level but the team looks solid and committed. It won’t be to long at this rate before we will go to teams like that and take the game to them. To top it all the article you linked to from the independent a week or so back gave me great beleif in what was going on at board level and in forty odd years of supporting this club i can’t think of a time i ever trusted that the people running our club had any ambition or the well being of the club at heart. Thanks Iain, good time ahead. COYI

  64. Hammers & Zvezda says:

    Yes we can!

  65. D&G says:

    ….AND mini judas is out for the rest of the season YES! arry will be pleased.

  66. Roy says:

    I’ve noticed that someone else has posted using my name! Well, I suppose that there are one or two Roys about so I will post under another name next time.
    Great result today whilst not being the best game I’ve ever seen. The support was fantastic.
    Without wanting to appear negative, I think that Di Michele is best suited to playing at home when we have the opportunity to attack more. When he is isolated he doesn’t seem to be able to impose himself as his game is based a lot on quick flicks rather than holding the ball waiting for support. I’m not criticising his work rate which, as with the rest of the team, was excellent, but he really struggled at times to keep possession.
    A draw like that at Arsenal could be considered fortunate in isolation but having now done the same at three of the “big 4” it has to be more of a coincidence. For all of their possession and territorial advantage Arse only forced Green to make one save of note – plus Collin’s header of the line. The defensive organisation and implementation is superb now. Onwards and upwards!

  67. Roymondo says:

    Name change!
    As nobody has done player marks here’s mine – and I tend to mark lower overall than Iain does.
    Green 7
    Neill 7
    Collins 8
    Upson 7
    Illunga 6
    Behrami 8
    Parker 7
    Noble 6
    Collison 6
    Di Michele 5
    Cole 6

    Subs all 5 (due to time on pitch)

  68. av hammer says:

    Off topic here, but i saw the harry rednapp post match press conference and it just shows what a whinge and complainer he is. I can’t stand him he basically comes out and says tht he needs more players and complains about evrything. He also said tht when he rocked up they were bottom but they are still only one point out of bottom three four months down the track. I hope they go down and we qualify for europe, tht will make my year. I hate tht club so bad and it is just a circus.

  69. E1 says:

    Another great post and display of THE West Ham suppoters spirit. WE are the best, and our team are striving to match us, subject to finace we will, I am sure be active in the summer we still need to improve the squad to take on european opposition and improve our pl status.
    NICE to see that Ashton has not been mentioned for a while shows we are no longer desperate and looking for a quick fix,not that he will do much for a while. HOW GOOD IS IT TO BE A HAMMERS FAN !!!!! COYI !!

  70. westhamutd says:

    Well said Iain. I live abroad (italy) and I’v always been proud to be a hammer fan (in good times but even in bad times)since I stayed in London in the 80s.
    We don’t take anything for granted. That’s our main feature. But now we enjoy this mighty, granitic team. No fear for anybody. “Non passeranno” (No pasaran=They will not break through)!

    PS Fabio Capello is very keen on strong team display as that of yesterday. Actually we defend but Arsenal never gave the impression to be on the verge to score.
    He will probably take on more claret and blue for England squad.

  71. phil says:

    Great post Iain.
    From what I saw from a stop-start streaming we defended brilliantly but created very little which was a bit disappointing.
    One feature of our improvement is keeping a steady side and we’ve been lucky with no injuries recently, especially to key players. May it long continue.

  72. Berkshire Hammer says:

    Change of direction.

    NOTW is saying Dyer & Ashton will be leaving in the summer

    http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/sport/150396/ASHTON-AND-DYER-UP-FOR-GRABS.html

  73. colin say's says:

    Great comment on Collin’s( Auckland hammer) l haven’t stopped laughing,

  74. 10no6 says:

    Inspirational post Iain (you should work for the newspapers)…cheers and come on you irons

  75. brooking is still the best says:

    Zola and Clarke, dream team, or so they have proved. Still have this nagging suspicion that as soon as Chelski wise up, they might be off. Hope not because they are the best thing thats happened to West Ham for an age.

  76. devo says:

    Berhami Army,that guys everywhere everytime I looked he either had the ball or was putting in tackles,i’m glad ole 20 tabs a day is off to Real ,I trust our solid management team and scouts to get it right,what ever happened to Kia Jobsworthbackhanda arn’t we paying him to scout for players

  77. Roymondo says:

    How the mighty are fallen…….
    Real Madrid try to sign Jermaine Pennant and now they have got Fauxpas. Just a short while ago it was Zidane, Figo, Raul, Beckham. Amazing.
    I’m sure that both Pennant and Faubert were/are only seen as cover but that’s all they were at Liverpool and us – and didn’t get much of a look in either.

  78. paul samuels says:

    Little to add to what has already been said other than to say that in more than 50 years of being a fan this is possibly the best organised defence I have seen at West Ham and I suspect that we have Steve Clarke to thank.

  79. Ed T says:

    Gotta say I love this post. As an expat Hammer, I’d also add that I am sorry I doubted Robert Green after seeing some clips of gaffes he made. Recently the wonders of t’internet have let me see much more of the Hammers, and Green’s a solid rock most of the time. Mea Culpa, and all that. Great form from Zola’s Irons. Long may they continue to drive straight.

  80. eleeNYC says:

    brooking is still the best :

    i think Zola and Clarke will not be going to Chelski anytime soon. Zola is a good man. He knows West Ham gave him a chance and for that he is grateful. This is his squad to own. Not for Abromovich to say we are buying this player and that player.

    So i have faith that Clarke and Zola will remain here for a at least a few seasons.

  81. 4737 Carlin Sir says:

    Iain, you missed two……

    Lets remember that theres a new FA inquiry into the Tevez affair which, if concludes unfavourably, could see all the good work you have eloquently described above wiped out in the time it takes to read the ruling out.

    Lets remember that the transfer deadline doesn’t arrive until midnight on Monday so there is still time for those names you’ve mentioned above, in particular Upson, to exit the club.

    Sorry if this seems pessimistic but I hope it also reads realistic.

  82. mikedamanmoore says:

    here here.cracking article iain!!COYI!!

  83. Russell says:

    I really believe zola and clarke will be the ones to usher in a new successful era at west ham.

    I also believe/hope that the petulant behaviour of chel$ki in the way SC joined us should have shown SC that he has closed his Chel$ki chapter.

    As for Zola, I understand he was a legend at chel$ki as a player, but I believe he will be more fullfilled with being a legend at west ham as a manager. Obviously having the better fans (greatest in the country in fact), the history, the traditions, everything etc., I cant see their heads being turned in the first place.
    These boys are proper irons now and not an evil russian oil baron’s puppet play things which they would become if joining chelscum.
    These boys have claret and blue blood now 🙂

  84. GCA says:

    For my sins i live right on top of the Arsenal. and when i was waiting to get home, i saw the great GZ. my point is this What the hell was he doing outside the ground so quickly after the Arsenal game? alone? surrounded by all those gooners? and with a flight bag?
    Lets hope he is about to sign some one good.

  85. Portugeezer says:

    Not too many mentions for Scott Parker yesterday? Its clear he was not only man of the match, but in him we have one of the best midfielders in the country at the current time. I lost count of the number of attacks he broke up single handed, often running 40+ yards to get the vital tackle in – top class. Behrami did most of Neill’s work again, and Upson was very solid, as ever. Whilst it was one way traffic we rarely looked in danger of conceding….the future looks bright for sure.

  86. DevoDevo says:

    Portugeezer – on the match thread I gave him 10 out of 10. He has been outstanding almost all season and will be in Capellos next squad.

    In fact, there isn’t a better holding midfielder in the Premiership at the moment.

  87. alan says:

    spot on ian could not have put it better but this is why we love football we have our head in our hands at 1 point had jumping for joy the next there is not a lot of things in life that will give you that rollercoster of emotions

    although at 26 i would have more hair and bigger finger nails if i wasnt a west ham fan but thats why i love em COME ON YOU IONS

  88. Mikef says:

    Someone mentioned the Tevez saga. I am of the belief that the second look is not to punish us again but so the FA/EPL can finally conclude McCryBaby’s assault on our good name. I find it interesting that our press coverage has improved significantly since the second look was announced. I read somewhere that Duxbury had been quoted as saying he had been informed no further action against us. That is the best news of all.

  89. Pete says:

    Cant wait to see Van Der Sar concede,Fantastic article.

  90. Goatygav says:

    Great Post Iain. It’s times like these that make the pain bearable.

    Happy Days!

    COYI!!!!

  91. wonday myson says:

    Good post Iain. We are now playing Zola style football with Clarkie style defending. Long may it continue. Come on you mighty irons!

  92. Ray Moore says:

    Great post iain, always love reading the posts. Great performance from the boys yesterday. We are looking good and it is great to see so many great comments from loyal west ham fans, excellent that we are all united!!!!

  93. Terry says:

    Another good post Iain – well said. The best signinng the club has made this season has been GZ and his best signing has been Clarkey.
    Without those two none of the rest would have been possible. The only thing we fans need to bring to the party is FAITH!
    These two have got us playing with confidence based on getting the basics right – from fitness to organisation on the pitch. Now we have confidence to play with flair and in the West Ham way – with style!
    COYI

  94. HammerMalta says:

    I thank God the day i had my first football shirt 41 years ago at the age of 10 was a West Ham shirt.From then on it`s West Ham till i die!.In 1974 i first saw Billy Bonds&co in action taking West Ham to the ECWC final in Brussles in 1976 against Anderlect.I was there.Yes it`s in the blood to be a Hammers fan ,it`s a gift and i`m so glad to be part of the history.COYI!!!!!.

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