Well if Reo-Coker wants to leave then…… oh hello there, long time no speak. Bet I explain why there has been such a long gap between posts on this here neglected blog. I felt it was best if I 100% focused on my dissertation rather then typing little bits here and there on here when it deserves more attention then that. Also I have to admit I got a bit lazy after the ol’ 8000+ word dissertation was handed in but now here I am, reporting for duty.
Well there’s been quite a lot since I last posted and to be a little bit lazy I will only focus on the one club and that obviously will be West Ham. Dead and buried I said we were after the Watford home loss. I lamented the side for being gutless, heartless and sorry sacks of shit. Well best thing to do now is to pick up where I left off on Tuesday 10th of April.
Dagenham and Redbridge had just won promotion to the Football League and Rob Green had saved the three points for West Ham away to Arsenal. As I noted it was the first weekend of results in a long time that all the results had gone West Hams way and I could no longer think we were down for sure as we finally putting in some really gutsy performances. That following weekend was an away trip to Sheffield United, the side who were down the bottom with us and out of form. They had been 10 points clear of us previously but now would they crack under pressure of three straight wins from the boys in claret and blue? Well no as they thumped the very lethargic Hammers 3-0. So much hope and aspiration had been sapped in the space of 7 days and I have to admit I once more started to look up Scunthorpe and Colchester in reference for away days the following season. No matter, the rearranged Chelsea game was up next and my worry that a moving of the game would work against us proved correct. 4-1. Well at least in this run Tevez is scoring be it win or lose. Also at least Mark Noble was being given a run in the side but there was something else. Plenty of fans left the ground early but those who stayed chanted and cheered the side on all the way till the final whistle. When the whistle went no one booed. It was warm applause as there was an acknowledgement (in my opinion) that obviously we were always going to struggle against the champions so the loss was always on the cards and we tried out best, regardless of the score line.
Alan Curbishley spoke all the time of a 38 point target. Mostly for a sound byte but also to give the impression we had not thrown the towel in yet but after three wins in a row, there had now been two losses with 1 goal for and 7 against. Little time to pick ourselves up as we had to play the Saturday of that week (with the Chelsea game being the Wednesday) at home to Everton. The crowd attempted to repeat the level of support shown at Wednesday’s game and through a spectacular Zamora goal we had three more points. We were playing fluently and with confidence, despite the previous results. Lucas Neill had gotten over his injury problems and was now effective as a leader on the field and balance had been achieved across the back four. Next came the two defining moments of the season. THE two most important moments in which if either of the two had gone the other way then I would be typing this as a fan of a Championship side.
Thursday the 26th of April and Friday the 27th, an independent commission set up by the Premier League in accordance with the rules agreed by all member clubs of the Premier League (remember that bit for later) gathered to rule over the charges levelled against West Ham with regards to the contracts of Tevez and Mascherano. I noted in a previous post that the trend of fines handed out to other sides had been reduced and more lenient then previously thought and that proved the case here. West Ham on the day before the most important game of the season away to Wigan were handed a 35.5 million pound fine over breaking Premier League rules with regards to third party ownership and for not acting in good faith towards the league. No points off. The panel ruled that whilst West Ham were in the wrong and admitted their guilt, it was the previous board who were to blame for the affair and that any points off now would be unfair to the club. There are other reasons given but if you want to look then take yourself over to the Premier Leagues website
I regret not posting around these parts during this whole affair as there is nothing on screen to chart my mood through out this period but whenever I think back to Saturday the 28th of April, a smile breaks out on my face. Me and my brother travelled up to Wigan on one of the free busses laid on by the club and the 5000+ visiting fans were in fine voice, taking over all the local boozers and restaurants. Before the game had even begun you got the feeling it was the West Ham fans, 3 points adrift of Wigan going into the game who were up for it. The Wigan fans were subdued all through the match and their side’s performance reflected the apparent mood in the home stands. West Ham had a spring in their step and was getting themselves in and around the Wigan defenders. Boa Morte (I really don’t like his attitude, well saying that I don’t like too many of our players at the moment) got the goal that put us one up. I have not celebrated that hard in a long time (well since going 2-0 up at home to Spurs) but the shear jubilation among the fans will be hard to forget. Wigan came out for the second half and shook off their sluggish first half by coming out strong and threatening from the set piece. Then we hit them on the counter attack and the game was effectively done. Time for one more and we won 3-0! Could goal difference come into it at the final reckoning? Who knew but what a glorious feeling it was, staring up at the clouds on a grass verge waiting for my coach with thoughts of survival floating through my mind.
And typing that reminded me of the Charlton fans. Operation Ewood (HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA) was a creation of that football club to take loads of fans up to Blackburn. On the way up there, there was a little bit of banter between coaches with the Charlton lot mooning the coach I was on, going down signs exchanged and so on. Nothing too threatening from a club which steals fans from Gillingham. In the service stations on the way up there was noting from the Charlton fans, not a peep. Well on hearing news of a 4-1 drubbing up at Ewood Park, I could not help but laugh. The way back the Charlton coaches were like a ghost town and the service stations were filled with the sounds of Bubbles and twist and shout. Good day that one.
Bolton at home next and with Fulham needing a win against Liverpool to ensure their survival and them wining 1-0, it was all down to the inform Hammers to get a win by any means and hope Sheffield and Wigan fail to win. Well both those things happened and guess what? West Ham won! We won convincingly with one of our best performances of the season, if not our best first half of the season as we went in with a 3-0 lead. Tevez with a brace and a beautiful (Tevez set it up) Noble volley we ended up winning 3-1. We played for one another and showed the spirit that had seen us finish so high up the table last time round. This is the time when I am meant to say why we couldn’t play like that before. Well I wont and do not feel like that. I am grateful for those shit results. The loss against Spurs (shudder), the 4-0 away defeat to Charlton and other crap results as it is those that got us into this situation and it was the new found commitment and drive to get out of that position that saw us climb back from the brink and show people like me who had us down and condemned already that we could do it. We could survive. Well soon I will type up about the final day of the season. More then likely tomorrow when its confirmed Scott Parker is the first man through the door at Chadwell Heath with so many on the way out. Reo-Coker? That’s for another day.
Little Rant about Sheffield United
The only possible punishment is points off apparently (according to the ramblings of one Mr McCabe). Well stop me if I am wrong but there was a wide range of punishments on offer and the commission gave their reasons as to why a fine was only imposed. Go and read the ruling again and then come back with an argument that is not just full of Sky Sports News loving sound bytes and sensationalist rubbish. Apparently Sheffield United has conducted themselves with the proper manner? Looking after your own but the blades have become a laughing stock in my opinion. Anybody with a brain cell in their head can deduce from the ruling and statement from the commission and the Premier League themselves, they are more then happy to have dealt out the punishment and that the club (West Ham) have complied with the ruling. Also what has transpired is something that has never come to light before from the Premier League. Any points off before had all been about player’s registration, rather then contracts for players with third parties and contracts was the problem this time round. The section of the contracts of the Argentineans that was called into question was the part that stated that MSI had the right to sell the player without West Hams permission in the January transfer window gone. The other rule broken was the failure to disclose this clause to the Premier League. Nothing there about registration of the players and that was never in question. Anyone who says Tevez or Mascherano were illegal players is an idiot. Plus Sheffield think they will be reinstated in a 21 side Premier League. This first surfaced two weeks ago and then the Football League point blank turned it down. McCabe in his “wisdom” mentioned it again today. Moron.
18th and 19th of June are the dates for this Sheffield United called for arbitration panel. Good luck Sheffield as you are going to get sweet fuck all.