Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tevez can pick up his pay package this week with the frustration of being in a losing side and himself not scoring but with a sense of pride that he is trying his best. The other “players” (and that’s meant loosely) are a disgrace. A f**king disgrace to the famous Claret and Blue. After Watford at home I thought this sorry excuse for a squad could do no worse but at Charlton it was a complete capitulation! Useless and leaderless. Enough has been typed and said elsewhere so me posting anymore would be a waste of time. To end however I honestly hope the kids are given a run out to give them first team experience. As if that’s going to happen.

Terrance Brown stepped down today as a director of West Ham. Good. Hopefully he can be stripped of his Life President title (even though it’s an honour bestowed upon him, f**k it) take it back. Also if the F.A does decide to fine West Ham in points or money then sue the pants off the bastard.

Short, much like the efforts of many a Hammer’s player this season. Next post when I can be arsed to post more will be a squad dissection of who will stay, who will go.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov has issued another cryptic and bizarre statement which appears to suggest refereeing is open to corruption.

However, Romanov fails to specify whether he believed Scottish clubs and match officials were cheating the system.

Delivering his message through the Hearts website, Romanov's carefully-worded tirade is sure to interest the Scottish Premier League, however its content was almost impenetrable in terms of interpretation.

Addressing the media, who Romanov has taken to describing as 'monkeys', the Lithuanian declared: "Today I will express my opinion in English about refereeing in order that your Mowgli will not make you tell lies.

"To discuss whether referees take money or not is the same as discussing a woman who gives herself with no love.

"Isn't it better to concentrate on the standard of their work instead of looking for reasons for their poor performance?

"A woman cheats herself and nature if she gives herself without love. If a referee officiates a game based on his personal love, he commits a cynical crime, especially when the public has trusted him.

"I respect those referees who take money from two stupid teams and then honestly officiates a game. They do not harm football in any way.

"Though it is bad, still everybody is equal for them. Perhaps that is the reason why football in Italy will never die despite all the scandals that continuously shake it.

"I think that is much better than being the champions for 40 years while building up the same system for further 40 years."

In keeping with the simian theme, the Hearts chief arranged for media to be handed bananas and nuts before the SPL match against St Mirren at the weekend.

He has been upset by coverage of Hearts since taking control at Tynecastle.

However Romanov, via his spokesman, last week denied making quotes attributed to him by a
Russian magazine which claimed the Old Firm clubs, Celtic and Rangers, were involved in the buying off of players and referees.

The widespread publication of the quotes, however, prompted the SPL to investigate whether Romanov had a case to answer.

His latest statement on Hearts' website carried on to say: "Now it has become obvious to me why you, the Monkeys, were trying to ruin Hearts not only in the championship, but in European competitions as well.

"I think it was not without your help that the 'frozen' referee from Russia was selected to officiate our match and that in the [Champions League qualifying] games against the Greek side [AEK Athens] we got three red cards.

"It is not without your help that traitors were presented as heroes thus showing the road to children for betrayal.

"You will always call teachers silly because unlike you they lead children along the correct path.

"Protecting your values in that way just spoils not only football, but also a Scotsman's proud name. I beg you Mowgli, take the monkeys back to the Safari Park!"

Taken from

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

To put things briefly, the Man Utd vs Lille game was short on moments on the field (until the goal) and had a lot off it. First off, the French authorities and police got the crowd situation so very badly wrong. Too many people put into one section with fencing is a recipe for disaster. Can those people honestly help being forced forward and towards the police line? Using tear gas? Disgraceful policing. Massive overreaction. No surprise ITV edited out the David Pleat comment that Man Utd fans were “Idiots” for climbing/scaling the fencing.

On the goal, it reminds me of Jimmy “Fat Eddie Murphy” Floyd Hasslebainks goal against West Ham at Upton Park and Henry’s goal against Chelsea where in a direct free kick situation when the ball is placed the player is liable to take the kick in his own time. The only problem with that is the ref is almost colluding with the attacking player as the free kick taker and any teammates near him know what is going on but then again you could argue why the defending side should know when a kick is to be taken. After all, they committed the foul.

The half-and-half walk off from Lille players looked a bit stupid. The management was calling the players off while some of the players stood about wondering what was going on. Farcical really.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Taken from the forums over at

Where to begin?

I am 44 years old and have been actively watching City since 1972. One of my first cogent memories is of my dad running around outside our house in Germany, bottle of 'Newcie Brown' in hand as the news of the win at St James’s Park came through. Probably unusually, my dad's family was half red half Blue. I was 'lucky' enough to be brought up the right way I suppose..........As we went on to win the FA Cup I got more involved and by the time of the West Brom League Cup triumph I was hooked.

We returned to England in 1972 and I have early memories of City being a big club, regularly beating United, whilst still managing to get beaten by teams like 2nd Division Forest in the cup of course, having players in every England (and Scotland) squad for a decade, Maine Road being a place teams feared to play at, ah halcyon days!

The 1975-1978 period was a golden era for me. What a team. We went away and played 3 or 4 forwards as often as not. Royle, Tueart, Barnes, Kidd up front, Doyle and Watson at centre half, Asa in midfield, big Joe in goal. The full backs weren't shabby either. I expected us to win every week. The end began when Malcolm returned and systematically dismantled the team. The 80's and 90's were a procession of mediocre seasons followed by poor seasons, there were more false dawns at City than the number of zeroes on Premier League players' pay cheques. It did not seem to matter, the football experience has always been about more than following a winning team.

The vast majority of my time as a Blue has been spent as a season ticket holder, first standing on the Kippax (oh happy days) then in the Main Stand, the new Kippax and now in the East Stand.

My love affair with City in particular and the Premier League in general will end at home to United. Why? Well, in no particular order:

1) A season ticket guarantees entrance but not if the changed kick off times mean I cannot get there. Work travel commitments often make Sunday kick offs impossible and Monday evenings very difficult. We've even had an 11:30 on a Sunday morning!

2) The most important spectator for a club is the TV fan. People who actually attend are low on the priority list. Hmmmmmm, “City away at Norwich. I know let’s play it on a Monday. Only a 10 hour round trip. I’m sure a day off work and getting to bed at 2AM won’t be too much trouble”. I’ve lost count of the number of games I’ve missed because the times have moved. Some of us have to plan our lives more than 4 weeks ahead. We've all booked holidays, flights etc only to see plans screwed up by a date change.

3) Atmosphere is gone thanks to all seated stadia. Big clubs need to tell HMG where to go. Why can I stand up at COMS for an Oasis gig but not for a match??? Why are clubs totally uninterested in bringing in safe standing? It can only be money. Why can I stand in many away ends but not at home? If the Germans can manage safe standing so can we. Many people I speak to would actually pay more to stand.

4) Today's players are completely out of touch with the fans. They only go out to VIP clubs and are protected from us by chains and bouncers. That's if us plebs are allowed in in the first place. God forbid that one of them had to actually talk to one of us. City, for example, have restricted (banned?) players from attending supporters club meetings. City now charge £50 for a signed shirt even for charities. As recently as the early 90's players would always appear in the social club stand a round or two and sign programmes etc. There are exceptions I’m sure but generally the players are aloof and in a different world.

5) Only 3 or 4 clubs will ever win the league again. I know that City have only been a major force for a 10 year period but we have won the league in my lifetime as have Villa, Forest, Everton, Derby, Blackburn, Ipswich and Leeds. There are effectively 16 clubs that are little more than cannon fodder for the big 3 or 4.

6) The gap between top 3 or 4 is getting bigger and bigger. Success is rewarded with more money which brings more success etc etc. Manchester United are nearly 30 points of teams from 8th down. There did not used to be 30 points between top and bottom. How is the game strengthened by giving the already powerful clubs even more money?

7) Players earn obscene amounts of money. An average player earns in a week what the average worker/fan earns in a year. 20 year old average players drive £150,000 cars and are millionaires after a couple of years. I run a company, I earn good money, I believe in a free market. I don't blame the players for taking what is on offer, I just think what's on offer is wrong. 22 man squads and a £30 million total wage bill might level the playing field.

8. Too much football on TV. A live game at 5:30 on a Saturday, for me the most acceptable time for a TV game ,and maybe one at 3pm on a Sunday is enough.

9) Too many cheats. Not enough action taken against them.....unless of course you're Bernado Corradi. How Ronaldo can even be considered as player of the year is beyond me. He is a cheat.

10) Refs have never been perfect but the current bias towards big teams is ridiculous. City fans have always had reasons for believing that United get more than their fair share of the rub of green but with the Sky Blue glasses nowhere in sight I know that Chelsea and Arsenal get decisions that e.g. City, Everton, Sp*rs, Villa, Boro and this week, Wigan do not. How did Scholes stay on the pitch against Sp*rs? 5 bookable offence in a single game. Barton never gets a chance to commit 5 fouls he's sent off after 2. Rooney lunges 2 footed and stays on the pitch, Barton lunges and he's off.

11) The league is a foregone conclusion and the cups are going the same way. One of the big 3 or 4 will win the FA and League cups for 8 out of the next 10 years. I laughed for years at Scottish football, well the laugh's now on me.

12) Rich clubs buy players and do not use them, further weakening the smaller clubs. SWP is a case in point.

13) Expensive, middle of the road quality food and expensive, big brand, zero taste beer in the ground. Why no Manchester beer, no Manchester food?

14) Too many journeyman foreigners in the team. Too many journeymen foreigners in the league. Dabo, Musampa, Riera, etc etc. Does anyone believe they give a monkeys? Here for the coin and nothing else.

15) No continuity in the team. It is 5 out and 5 in most summers. It’s hard to get behind a team when half of it changes every year.

16) The Sky money should be spread around more. Some should go to the smaller clubs and youth development. Some should be used to reduce ticket prices.

As you may have deduced, I will not be renewing. It is possible that I'll not even bother going to City again after this season unless some of the above changes. I love football, I am a City fan but my game has been taken away from me and my team are irrelevant. Unfortunately I think this is true of every club bar United, Arsenal, Chelsea (until Abramovich leaves) and Liverpool.

Stalybridge Celtic, Mossley and maybe Rochdale, Bury etc will get my hard earned cash. I can turn up at 2pm, have a beer in the social club or a local boozer, talk to some true fans ( home and away), eat a decent pie, pay on the gate, watch 22 players play a game free of diving and be home for 6. (Remember when it was like this?). It won't be City, there will be non of the ecstasy and agony of being a partisan supporter but this is outweighed by the good side.

There are some positives coming from the club. City's £95 junior season ticket is to be applauded but it changes none of the above.

I hope something changes, I suspect it won’t. The vision of COMS with 25,000 in every week, except for when United visit, is going to come true some time soon. The club and all middle ranking clubs have to wake up or we will be just like every other league in Europe, a handful of clubs that can win something and a handful of clubs with full grounds. How much will Sky pay to broadcast games from 1/2 empty stadia?

I have thought about starting an internet campaign to try to get our game back. The problem is the only people who are really bothered about the state of the game are those of us who can remember what it was like pre Premier League. If it was actually possible to get a nationwide boycott of all games on a single weekend just to show what the game would be like without us maybe some of the clubs would wake up. As the recent boycott at Bolton showed, however, it is not possible to get people not to go. I have a dream of everyone turning up at the ground as normal but spending the whole 90 minutes outside the stadium, a demonstration of positive commitment to make a real point. It will never happen of course but imagine the impact.

None of the above mentions the fact that the football is stultifyingly crap. It would be nice if we played open flowing attacking football and if the opposition tried to do the same of course but the quality of football is not the reason I'm sick to death of the Premier League in general and City in particular.

Will MCFC give a toss if I don't renew? I doubt it. My seat is in the 2nd tier of the East stand, 5 seats to the right of the corporate seats, it will be snapped up in an instant......

The arguments made for and against do contain a bit of swearing but the sentiments for both sides of the argument are there.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I more then likely have said it before but how Palermo’s ground has made the list of grounds in Italy that are fit for use I will never know. Anyway, when the weekends round of matches came about, the Italian FA coped out and allowed AC Milan season ticket holders into the ground. What was the point in the measures in the first place? The more things change the more they stay the same.

Anyway onto some other matters and I have will have to be brief as I am waiting to go to a lecture so must hurry. It’s nice to see the Hearts owner, Vladimir Romanov creating a bit of controversy (when has he not?) by claming that all ref’s and officials in the Scottish Premier League have been bought off by Rangers and Celtic. Celtic is already consulting lawyers.

I have read on the KUMB forums that West Ham are looking into a site next to the railway lines at West Ham station as a potential spot for a new ground. The current buildings on the site have been sold to the London Development Agency and the current tenants will be moving in 2008. The esteemed London mayor, Ken Livingston has already stated that he will help the club in a search for a new ground and that this particular site has been ear marked. According to sources on the forums club officials have already visited the site. Me personally it would be a wretch to leave Upton Park but this site to me is less unnerving then the proposed Olympic Stadium site that was mooted previously. However I would need to see plans before I make a decision one way or another.

Also on KUMB was an article from the Guardian website in which:

“The deputy head of the British Transport Police warned yesterday that his resources were being stretched by the pressure of herding growing numbers of fans around the country on match days. Even when services to match day hotspots such as London, Manchester and Liverpool pass off without arrests, non-football going passengers can be frightened or irritated by fans' behaviour, said Andy Trotter, deputy chief constable.”

The call from the deputy head is for football specials to be laid on as to avoid football fans and the public from interacting. Obviously the two are completely separate groups and there is a massive need to separate such groups as it’s is an epidemic. These football fans are nothing but uncivilised savages that need to be further provoked and treated even more so like garbage. To end, here is one comment from the user, Anne Boleyn of the KUMB forums:

This article has annoyed me so much; I'm planning on writing to complain. While looking around on the BTP website for arrest figures for rest of our oh so civilised society, I came across the following:

3. A robust prosecution policy. When arrests take place, the offender should ideally always be charged with the most serious offence disclosed. Home office guidelines state that Fixed Penalty Notices should not be used for football related offences

So if I was wearing my West Ham shirt and was travelling by train and committed a criminal act I could expect to be dealt with more severely than if I was wearing a business suit?

4. Seeking a banning order in every case when someone is arrested for a football related offence, and asking for conditions to be attached preventing them from travelling by rail when matches are being played

Again, I could run the risk of a banning order on arrest (but not on a charge?) if I dependent on the purpose of travel and potentially on what I was wearing?

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Its been all quite on the western front on this blog here and I apologise. My Internet has been a right bastard but today’s match provides good timing for a post:

Watford: Pride. Passion. Commitment. Heart.
West Ham: Toothless. Clueless and as of today, Relegated.

Well that’s not 100% mathematically correct but to me this club that I support is effectively relegated. Another massive underperformance has led to us losing once more and this time to a team below us in Watford. Unforgivable and also unmistakable that this one game was THE make or break game of the season. Make or break moments have come and gone before this season but this one game, this one moment was the defining moment of a piss poor season and guess what? It got a whole lot worse.

You would have thought the lessons of the F.A Cup game would have been learnt but they were not. Too much time was given to a battling Watford in our midfield. In the air we were beaten time after time and lacklustre performances were overshadowed by the lionhearted efforts of a team on paper, inferior. The slow claps and boos of the West Ham fans must ring in the ears of those who have sat on fat contracts and bleated about how its just down to bad luck we are were we are. No. I put the blame on the players. They got one manager sacked and now a lot of them are playing as if they just do not care. This club is relegated in my eyes and so are Watford (hopefully I do not lose the bet I have made) but who will join us? It think it will be the team who currently sit 19th, Charlton. The game two Saturdays from now will be very interesting indeed as to me its between who will finish second from bottom and who will finish third from bottom.

Monday, February 05, 2007

This post would have been put on this blog Sunday night but the internet is not being kind to me at the moment. If I could be bothered I would edit the part in the original post where I talk about Matthew Upson as news has come out today that he will be out for up to three weeks only.

Relegation? Well West Ham took another step closer on Saturday with defeat to Aston Villa. A massively disappointing season is quickly coming to an end with the inevitable conclusion of dropping down to the Fizz Pop league. The spate of injuries we have suffered and the injury during the match of Matthew Upson just says something very clearly to me. That is we are just like Birmingham last season. Injury list as long as your arm, lack of quality all through out the squad and bad luck. All that with bad performances and strife on and off the field and we are heading the same way as the side from the 2nd city. As typed in my last post, if we are to be relegated then we would be the strongest side financially in the Championship, just like Birmingham are at the moment.

In other news, a police officer was killed during clashes between Catiania and a certain team from Scilly called Palermo. The Police officer was killed after being struck in the face with an explosive device of some sort. Look up on youtube and you will see movies of West Ham fans being held back after the game and having these similar devices being thrown at them from a distance. Of course it’s the English disease and the “Menacing” West Ham fans that attended the game who are at fault for everything that happened. To be totally honest I was not surprised in the slightest that this has happened as all through out the Italian footballing scene there is lawlessness and as I was there in Palermo for the UEFA Cup game I feel I can give an honest opinion of the events. From leaving the plane and getting to the hotel, the events of the Wednesday night had soured an already threatening mood and skirmishes and fights were rumours flying about the group I was with (which later was proven to be correct). When day turned to night, that’s when things started to get really hairy. People were having debris thrown at them from above and stories were going round of more attacks so people started to walk in a convoy. Getting to the game was a hassle as well and getting the coach into the car park was difficult as no police were there to stop the Palermo fans from throwing things and getting up close to the coach. Over here you get a police escort, over there you are left to defend yourself. All throughout the match police dogs were stationed in front of the West Ham fans but these very same policemen were no where top be seen after the game. At full time we were held back in the ground and very slowly the Palermo fans were being moved from the ground and then was then the volume of explosions thrown increased and these were coming from the group of people being moved on by stewards and being totally honest, you could not see anyone getting arrested or detained! These days over here coughing might get you thrown out while in Italy you get moved on. After the gates were opened coaches were there to drive people back to the town centre. Once again people were left to defend themselves and nothing was done by the police to break up any of the human barricades the Palermo fans had set up on all the main roads, just waiting for anyone to walk down the wrong way. The death of the policeman must be a wake up call as from what I personally saw the policing are totally inadequate and non-existent in places.