29 September, 2010

Da Costa Spurs de Points

Firstly, I’m quite proud of the title of this piece, it can function in multiple ways, take a second to think about that, oh you agree it’s quite brilliant, ok good.

Last week was monumental for us all, there is no denying that, and the amount of “firsts” we seemed to accomplish was rewarding, but mainly relieving. First win of the season, first away win since August 2009, first league point, first win against “Arry, and first win against our bitterest PL rivals Spurs in what seems to be an eternity…and this time around there wasn’t a dodgy East End lasagna in sight.
So, I gave Avram a bit of a hard time in one of my previous posts, but the positives coming out of this club in the last week or so also earns him a pat on the back. The draw at Stoke, the win in the cup against Sunderland, and now a display that was unmatched in passion and fervor for as long as I can remember against our arch enemies, have all contributed to a nice feel good vibe amongst us fans. It’s still a long way to Christmas though, and that should be when we really know what kind of season we’re looking at.
But hey, lets stay on the positives, and relish this result for a little, it’s been so long since we’ve beaten Tottenham, and been so long since we’ve seen our team play that well, that I just have to let it marinate.

Player Reviews
Greeno – Rob was a giant in goal with a couple of classy saves, and one world class “howthefuckdidhegettothat” reaction save from a 2000mph flying volley from inside the box. His decision making was excellent, his distribution was good, and he flipped off the press box at the end of the game earning him extra brownie points. In fairness he’s been slaughtered by the press in recent months, everything from his slip up in the USA game to him seeking a priest in his personal life has been inked all over the back pages of some of the rags, and I can fully understand his anger against the way he has been treated. Rob, you’re a great keeper, and your charity work in Africa shows that you are a good man, I’m proud to have such an ambassador at our club.  9
Jacobsen – What a difference having a real right back makes eh? Lars has been brilliant so far, his positional sense is excellent, and he’s fitting in well at the back. He made one brilliant last ditch tackle against Crouch on Saturday that was noteworthy, and he doesn’t give the ball up nearly as easy as Faubert (who always seems to have the ball stuck under his feet). He’s not gonna light the world on fire, but I’m more than happy with a competent RB that doesn’t leak goals and steps up when called upon which is exactly what he did on Saturday.  7
Gabbidon – He’s not a natural left back, but fair play to him he’s doing well there. He’s got pace too which helped to subdue Lennon, and he uses the touchline well to pin his opponents in. Good performance.  7
Upson – Decent performance from our captain, looks a lot more competent with Da Costa next to him. Won a good amount in the air, and commanded the line.  7.5
Da Costa – For me has been a revelation since coming back in to the starting 11. 7’13” Crouch won one ball in the air that I counted, and he countlessly won ball after ball on the deck too, breaking down Spurs’ movement and just being a royal pain in the arse. His distribution from the back is also very good, and there’s a noticeable difference in Upson’s performances since he has partnered him. He’s earned his starting place in my book, and our whole defence looks 100% better in the course of seven days. Brilliant stuff…how high can that man jump?!!  9
Defence Overall: Much much better, playing as a unit, they got stuck in, and made Tottenham revert to long distance shots. Superb.

LBM – The three people who read this blog will know that I’m not the biggest fan of Luis, but to his credit he’s knuckled down and not looked like half the crazy BSE-infected bastard that he did last year. Against Spurs he made some nice passes, pressured their players, and filled the job that Avram gave him. Credit where it’s due.  7
Dyer – Off early again due to “dizziness”, he must’ve had the lasagna, and of course the one place our medial staff didn't check him in the last 3 years was his ears. Shame, because he’s been looking good, and you just have that feeling that once he gets one goal he could be on his way to a great season.  5
Parker – I will admit that I spontaneously joygasmed when we kept Scott Parker during the end of the transfer window, he is a solid player and has the attributes and attitude that others need to emulate. His work rate on Saturday was excellent, he was everywhere, tackling, passing, breaking down the play, and his game can only get better with strikers that give him either a pass or a foil. Right now he is Mr. West Ham.  8
Noble – This may be the best performance Marky has put in, he did everything that Parker did and more. If not for a top class save from Cudicini  9
Midfield Overall: They didn’t stop, tireless, aggressive, passionate, and just brilliant all day long. Parker and Noble had their best game together.
Pokemon – Great performance, well taken goal, and seems to be an intelligent striker who can create some space and is good in the air. He worked his socks off and for that alone gets a 9
Obinna – Change I can believe in. He was immense and a constant threat all day. He’s not afraid to shoot, he passes well, and his link up play with Pokemon and our midfield really made a difference. The shot where he out muscled Hutton and took on his left on the bounce was excellent and deserved a goal. If he can put in that much effort every game he will get goals.  9
Strikers Overall: I honestly believe that our strikers made the difference in this game. Having two strikers that make runs, get into space, keep the ball, hold it up for support, and are inventive takes a lot of pressure off of our midfield and defence. Just having the ball up the opponent’s end of the field for longer can make a difference. But now you see that given an outlet our midfield can produce some excellent opportunities, and Saturday we looked more than ever this season that we have goals in us. This change was much needed, and not to slate Carlton Cole who has done a hard job on his own essentially up top, but these two are both mobile, they both like the ball, and they’re not trying to out muscle people on every play, they also use their wit, speed, and skill – having these extra tools in your belt gives us more options and makes our attacking play more potent. One more thing, they look to be on the same wavelength, when was the last time we had two strikers we could say that about? Hartson and Kitson?
Barrera – Played ok, he slid two beautifully weighted balls into the box causing confusion between the defence and the keeper that nearly paid off. Looks comfortable on the ball, just needs to realize that in the PL you’re going to get hit, it aint continental football, so needs to be a little stronger. Can’t fault him though, came on for Dyer, got stuck in and did a job.  7
Cole – Came on for Pokemon late in the game, but did well to slow the game down and run the clock off when he was in possession. His off the ball movement is still incredibly frustrating.  6
Kovac – Came on for the tiring and always on a yellow LBM. Hustled and bustled and generally made a nuisance of himself, but can’t say he stood out.  6

Man of the match? Who knows there were a couple of them. I suppose I’d have to say Noble edges it, but Da Costa gets man of the week for me.

Overall a brilliant team performance, we had leaders all over the pitch, and it’s nice to finally get 3 points and get off the bottom of the table. If this is the kind of performances that we can expect then who knows, we could be pushing for a top 6 place this year. Consistency is going to be the key, and us being West Ham, keeping injury free too will determine a large part of our season. Upton Park needs to return to fortress status, and going away should be a little easier now that we’ve beaten our year long duck. Like I said I’ll reserve total judgement until Christmas, years of being a West Ham supporter has taught me patience, but it would be wrong not to be optimistic after Saturday. Our reaction to playing Fulham next week should be interesting, after all it’s not hard to get pumped up against a team you know every supporter hates like Spurs, but it will be the results against teams that no one really gives a toss about like Fulham that define our season.
Never a dull moment.

30 August, 2010

Don't Ask Why

I just made this, no idea why or what it means, but you gotta love Abe's beer helmet.

29 August, 2010

We’re Avram a Terrible Time

New season, same old West Ham. New manager, same old West Ham. New signings, same old West Ham. Perpetual disappointment, frustration, and an everlasting feeling of wanting to throw hard objects through the television continue.

So anyway, out goes Zola, in comes Avram Grant, the unproven ambiguously-bipolar-undertaker looking Israeli. I can’t say I was thrilled at the prospect of Grant managing us, for one he seems to have gotten a massive amount of praise from the press without actually earning any of it. Yes yes yes, Portsmouth did so well under his management, so well in fact that if they didn’t have 9 points deducted from them they would’ve won the league, or at least that’s what the press would have you believe. The fact of the matter is, had they not had 9 points taken off Pompey would’ve finished bottom and still would’ve been 7 points from safety. So no, I can’t say he did all that well there. Oh a cup run you say? Well when you’re practically relegated by the new year I’d expect you to go all out for the cup, oh yeah, they didn’t win that either.

Uuuuuum Chelski? Yes he led them to the Champions League Final, I get that, but you’re looking at a squad there that without a manager should be looking to compete at that level. Grant’s easiest chance of silverware was the FA Cup final against Spurs, they fucked that up. The fact is that Grant is the only Chelsea manager since Claudio Ranieri (2000-2004) not to win a single thing. Reminders for those that need them, Ranieri was the first manager with Russia’s treasury department at his disposal, and the squad that was so successful under that twat Moriniho was largely put together during those years.

So anyway my point is, Grant isn’t football’s equivalent to Stephen Hawking. He isn't a genius, he isn’t going to be theorizing all these new systems and strategies that will turn West Ham into Real Madrid, and he doesn’t communicate through a straw attached to a fucking computer; although for the record he probably should, as at the very least he’d have to move his mouth a little bit and possibly show some emotion, and the rest of us wouldn’t have to listen to his stupid accent. Seriously, I can’t take it. When he speaks it sounds like two frogs fucking to the death.

I’ll back him though, that’s the West Ham way. I honestly used to take pride in the fact that we’d had fewer managers in our history than any other team in English football, and I find it sad that our policies in the 2000’s have turned that on its head. Turbulent decade perhaps, hopefully a better future lies ahead.

So three games and three losses. No surprise there. The media is having joygasms at the thought of another relegation fight, and of course they’re ignoring everyone else apart from us. Stoke, 3 losses, one of which is to Wolves. Everton, two losses and a draw, the draw was to Wolves. Wigan, thumped by Blackpool! The teams around us are in trouble too, but of course Upton Park is the centre of the universe when it comes to unrest, so Moyes and Co will get a pass from the press, while we’ll be accused of having a falling out in the dressing room, orgies with nuns, and Luis Boa Morte going around the training ground dressed like a witch doctor.


Note to press: When West Ham fans start booing when we lose to Chelsea next week, please remind the world that Spurs fans booed their team off against Wigan this Saturday just days after making the CL group stages. TWATS.

I honestly don’t think we’ve played all that badly with the exception of the Villa game. Bolton we just lose to, always, we know that. And playing at The Theatre of Commentators’ Wet Dreams is never easy, although selecting to start Jon Spector and LBM certainly doesn’t give you an advantage in any game. I think the most interesting if not annoying thing about the last few games is how little the new signings are being used, and how similar to last season we look. Surely new players are brought in to better the team, if that’s the case then why aren’t they on the field? Barrera looks interesting, always looking to get forward and shoot, and he can take a tackle better than Diamanti, didn’t feature yesterday until the second half. Pok√©mon was another one that featured late, and Reid didn’t feature at all, although in all honesty was I supposed to get excited about that signing? Winston Reid? Who’s that? Oh he played in the World Cup? Oh, it was for New Zealand and not a real country. Prediction: He’s the next Tyrone Mears.

Oh fuck Tal Ben Haim is so uninspiring I forgot to mention him in the last paragraph.

To sum up let’s do a typical positives and negatives thing…

Some of the long term injuries seem to be fading away a little, both Dyer and Gabbidon played (well) against Man U.
Barrera looks to have potential.
We can pass the ball, even if it is mostly sideways and backwards.

We still switch off two or three times a game - this always seems to cost us goals.
We haven’t scored from open play yet and I’m not sure we can.
Any one of our current players playing right-back, especially Jon Spector.
And can someone other than Parker please provide a bit of steel. I’m sick of us not getting stuck in and mixing it up a bit. I miss the days of Julian Dicks.

So yeah all is not well, but it’s early days and the doom and gloom mongerers are out way too early. Simply put, if these three fixtures were side by side in January and we had lost them, this wouldn’t even be a discussion. Judgment should be left until around Christmas.

We’ve got a couple of days left of the transfer window and with one or two decent additions we could be quite a potent team. The need for a rightback and a goal scorer are quite obvious. If it were my choice I’d have Robbie Keane. Unpopular at West Ham I know, but he’s Premiership proven unlike half the people we go after, and he’d be good for around 15 goals a season, he’s also the type of player that can latch on to one of Carlton Cole’s mis-controlled balls and make something of it. And at the back we need steel, god only knows who could fill this roll, but someone whose face doesn’t break for fun while scoring own goals would be a good start.

Again, too early to really judge, but fuck me are they frustrating.

23 February, 2010

Falk Off, They're Ours

Aaaah Chavez, he's definitely on my list of top 10 favourite dictators of all time; not for any presence of being a hard man like Pol Pot, or, like Stalin, and in fact being able to deliver any kind of military backing for any of his words, EVER; but he just screams "look at me, look at me, please world, please think that I'm relevant." In this way he is the dictatorship equivalent of a non-alcoholic beer; looks the part, even tastes like the part, but doesn't make you go all wobbly at the knees after a 12 hour bender.

So, the year is 1982, I mean 2010 and The Falkland Islands, or "Islas Malvinas" are being claimed by the Argentinians, again. Britain is saying "No, no, no, they're ours" and the British oil company Desire has already popped a massive hole in the seabed searching for black gold 60 miles off the shore of the islands. The Argies are all pissed off and having a go at dicking around with shipping routes of their coast, the US is staying out of it, and the rest of Latin America is apparently behind Argentina grandstanding and banging their hands on tables somewhere in the middle of Mexico.

This is a load of bollocks.

I don't mind Argentina, they're alright, I love Carlos Tevez, their flag is one of the most original out there (yes that always scores points with me), and I even gave Madonna's portrayal of Nazi sympathiser Juan Peron's wife Evita a try - although all that singing on balconies was just a bit too much for me. But it is absolutely laughable that they should claim the Falkland Islands for their own, please allow me to regurgitate some facts that I believe are why the islands firmly belong to Britain...
  • The islanders hold British citizenship
  • The islanders have stated that they want to remain British (I'm a fan of self determination, so is the UN by the way)
  • The population of the island is over 70% made up of British peoples, with the other 30% being a mixture of French, Dutch, and Chilean ancestry
  • The islands were first spotted by the British in 1592, visited in 1690, and settled in 1765
The Argies however don't agree, and they believe that their ownership of the islands lies in the fact that the islands are off of their coast, and that they took over the dispute of the islands that was formerly between the UK and Spain when they won their independence from Spain back in 1816. And so now they're going around pontificating about the bad "colonial" and "imperialist" Britain in the hope that they get to kick out British peoples from the islands and colonise it themselves and get their hands of some of that love-er-ly oil moolah. The irony of the situation has reportedly made Alanis Morissette's head explode.

And don't even get me started on this recent "summit" in Cancun, actually I'm already started so let's point out a couple of things about that too. For humour's sake, I'm going to assume all of these leaders were shit faced and wearing novelty sized sombreros like all other visitors to Cancun...

Firstly, let's point put which countries would automatically lose their independence should sovereignty be tied to geographical proximity to a significantly bigger neighbour - Belize, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Uruguay.

Secondly, how many of the governments in these countries could use a nice press hit to boost ratings back home and serve as a much needed distraction from actually bettering their people? I'm going to list these in four categories - 1.Our economy is in the shitter because we produce only fake leather shoes and 3 metre lengths of string 2.Oh fuck I need to get re-elected soon 3.My country is run by gang-banging drug smugglers 4.The Joe Stalin Award for Awesome Oppression (JSAAO) goes to...

1. For the sake of time, I'm going to say all of them with the exception of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico who make up 3 of the G-20 countries. Although Chile and Columbia come in as also rans.

2. Thank you to the lovely people at commonborders.org for this...
Costa Rica
Feb. 2010
Apr. 2010
May 2010
July 2012
Oct. 2010*
Nov. 2011
Nov. 2011


Dec. 2010
Oct. 2011
* First round.

3. Special mentions must go out to the whole of central America, Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, and Peru - but this map should help you visualise it a bit better...

4. Venezuela, Cuba, Honduras, and arguably a few more too.

Thirdly, well there really is no thirdly, but your honour, let the record show that the backing of Argentinia was hardly given by the most credible nations in the world.

So then, what of it? Not much really. In the aftermath of the Falklands war Britain upped the level of security on the islands, and as we speak a sub is on it's way to the region to protect British citizens should the Argies feel like trying anything on. The ironic thing is, they planted so many landmines around the island in the first war, any attempt at invasion similar to last time would surly lead to massive casualties. But I expect very little to come of this, this is merely posturing by countries and leaders that are following the rhetoric and stances of populism and distancing themselves from the richer northern hemisphere nations in an attempt to win back some public favour after what has been a disastrous couple of years for the global economy.

For the record awesomely original flags include the countries of Wales, Nepal, Qatar, and Sri Lanka - who doesn't love a fucking lion wielding a sword?

15 February, 2010

On Borrowed Time

So the debt ceiling just got raised to almost $15,000,000,000,000 - an almost incomprehensible sum, a ludicrous sum, an amount so high that I'm getting spasms just thinking about it. Whose idea was this? "Well boys and girls we're in a lot of debt, and the economy is in the shitter, what shall we do? I've a great idea, let's borrow some more fucking money until we've borrowed so much that all of the toner at the fed and the treasury run out of ink."

Good plan eh? But seriously, who actually believes that you can borrow your way out of debt and economic downturn? I know everyone loves the Keynes bandwagon, but there has to be some kind of threshold as to where his philosophies just come short. I can't possibly believe that if this country continues to try and borrow it's way out of the problem while the citizens continue to be frugal then the shortfall between what the government is spending and what the government is bringing in just has to be too large of a gap to fill with anything shorter than taxing the living shit out of people.

The latest figures on each American's portion of the debt is estimated at around $45k, that doesn't sound too good does it? But this also is a skewed figure, the formula they used to make that projection is debt/population, or roughly 15t/300m. What really should have been the formula to get a good rough estimate is debt/population that actually pay taxes - and by that I mean people who ACTUALLY have to pay taxes, so no kids on there, no illegal immigrants on there, no one below the threshold of when you have to pay taxes (aka poverty line folks etc...) - when you re-do the math, and this is important for those who actually do pay taxes, it works out to roughly $100k per tax payer. Add on top of that interest that is going to compound over time, or add the leniency for separate tax bracket groups and this gets a lot worse for certain people on the social spectrum. THAT IS ABSURD.

I can't really offer any more on this post, I normally like to be snarkier than this too, but so egregious the nature of this problem is I don't think I can bring myself to do it. That's a jaw-droppingly large figure, and stands as proof for me that this government needs serious reform; we need to cut the fat, get back to the basics, and stop trying to provide everything to everyone. Being everyone's provider isn't the most selfless thing to be, the most selfless thing to be is taking care of yourself so that no one else has to.

Cash for Wankers

...Also, did anyone hear about the new cash for appliances program? Same theme as cash for clunkers except now you can help your neighbour get a brand-spanking-new dishwasher. Are you fucking serious? I already shit the bed after watching cash for clunkers give the market an unnatural spike in car sales for about a month and a half because people waited for the legislation to pass before buying their new toy - on a side note thank you ever-so-fucking-much for disqualifying my shitty 1997 VW Jetta (I love you Jetta Jameson, don't break down because of my harsh words) from the program because apparently it is better off on the road (technically usually on the side of the road) whereas a 2009 Hummer wasn't - illogical!

Anyway, I'm being discursive. The point is that yet again my money is going towards improving other peoples' homes and lives through the buying of dishwashers, dryers, and fuck only knows what else. On top of this it really pisses me off that when stuff like this is done it's done for the massive voting block called the middle class. The upper classes don't give a rats ass about this because they can afford to buy shit on a whim. The middle class eat this shit up because they have enough put by to take advantage of stuff like this. Us little poor folk who have no savings because we live pay cheque to pay cheque get nothing out of programs like this, in fact in the cash for clunkers deal we didn't even get the possibility of a lot of second hand cars for cheap because they were all scrapped. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for a hand out, I enjoy being self-sustainable and budgeting for myself, it's called being responsible, I just hate that when you preach inclusiveness and the merits of an equal society and a fair society and whatever other bullshit rhetoric that is the buzzword of the week to the masses, and then you turnaround and roll out programs like these that go against everything you've just said. Don't you assholes see the hypocrisy?!

I'd now like to address "the man" - "Excuse me, Mr. Man, please stop fucking me. I can barely afford to get by myself, but it is quite disheartening to know that the money I give you, in trust that you will use it to keep me safe from rapers, terrorists, and to educate little fuck-bag kids that aren't mine, is actually going to be used to subsidise Mr. and Mrs. Jones over at number 43 while they remodel their kitchen. Again, I feel the need to reiterate, please please please, stop fucking me. Sincerely yours, The Little Guy."

Pink Floyd -Welcome To The Machine - The best bloopers are here

16 December, 2009

What's the Point?

Or really more, where do they come from? We're staring down the barrel of a gun currently as our run of form has taken a dive from what looked like an early season slip up to an almost full blown catastrophe. Luckily for us the other teams around us, are, well frankly, shit. To stay up this season may be a case of being less shit than those around you. But where are we going to pick up points from, and what is going to stop me from committing suicide before the season ends? Lets look at the remaining fixtures and allude to what could be...

Key: Must Win No Chance Possible Result

Sat Dec 20: vs. Chelsea
Sat Dec 26: vs. Portsmouth
Mon Dec 28: @ Tottenham

Sat Jan 09: vs. Wolverhampton
Sat Jan 16: @ Aston Villa
Tue Jan 26: @ Portsmouth
Sat Jan 30: vs. Blackburn Rovers

Sat Feb 06: @ Burnley
Tue Feb 09: vs. Birmingham City
Sat Feb 20: vs. Hull City
Sat Feb 27: @ Manchester United

Sat Mar 06: vs. Bolton Wanderers
Sat Mar 13: @ Chelsea
Sat Mar 20: @ Arsenal
Sat Mar 27: vs. Stoke City

Sat Apr 03: @ Everton
Sat Apr 10: vs. Sunderland
Sat Apr 17: @ Liverpool
Sat Apr 24: vs. Wigan Athletic

Sat May 01: @ Fulham
Sun May 09: vs. Manchester City

There are 8 must win games in the selections that I have made, I do not assume all will come true, but every single one of these must be played like it is our cup final for the year. Each of these teams is beatable, and only 2 of the games are away - Portsmouth, and Burnley (if there's ever to winnable away games you'd assume it's those). Winning all of these would almost certainly guarantee our safety with a grand total of 44 points (if we go down on that we beat our old record by 2). All of the blue games must also be seen as games that we get a result from, nick a point or possibly three here or there in these and we'll either offset the red games that we lose/draw, or improve our overall league position. And hell if we gets some points from the pinks too we'll be laughing.

The point I am trying to make is that the season is far from over, but we do need to act fast, at the very least starting at the pompey game (which I'll be at so they better fucking win), and Upton Park has to be a fortress for the rest of the year. So come one and come all, players stick your bloody fingers out, Managers don't be afraid to give them the hairdryer, and supporters let's turn Upton Park back into the fortress of old that it used to be, and make it truly uncomfortable for the away team to play there. No more whinging, let's get down to business.

30 July, 2009

Grin And Beer It

Thank you Lynn Fucking Sweet for asking the question that has now driven the whole media into a frenzy over the Crowley-Gates ordeal. Thank you for asking a question so off topic that it drives me mad. In the middle of Q&A over health care you have managed to distract an entire nation's worth of media on to possibly one of the most mundane and over-hyped "news events" possibly witnessed. The fact that people are now complaining about what beer the President will drink is all down to you, you bitch, thanks a lot.

My anger is because there is just so much more going on in the world than having to worry about a white cop and a black professor. Was it a legitimate question? Sure, why not, what question isn't? But it was so off topic, and there are so many better examples of poor race relations that you could have pointed to. In fact, on the same day a black ambulance driver was choked out by a white cop because he didn't yield his vehicle to him during an emergency response - you want to talk about race relations in this country? That's probably a more appropriate situation than a well-to-do Harvard professor breaking in to his own house being arrested for refusing to comply with a white policeman. But no, some nobody from the south won't generate media orgasms like a well known Harvard professor and a police officer that gave CPR to the Boston Celtics' Reggie Lewis, will they? Oh God the controversy makes my bowels move.

Well done Obama too, Mr. I don't know all of the facts but I'll take a side. I mean c'mon, the story had barely broken, the police report wasn't even written yet, nor was the accused's testimony out, but using sound judgement that I just plucked from my arsehole I can predict what actually took place. Poor judgement on your behalf sir, should have kept schtum.

I'm not taking a side in this at all, the moral for me is don't be an ass to the police, don't send a racially loaded email to the Boston Globe, and don't assume things are necessarily about race. Either way now we're forced to listen to what beer all these idiots will have to drink at this "beer summit" - for fuck's sake Crowley should order a Guinness and Gates a White Russian, lets all hold hands again.