Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Burnley v West Ham

Blast from the past

5th April 2005: Prime Minister Tony Blair asked the Queen for a dissolution of Parliament for a general election on 5th May, Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay was at the top of the charts with ‘(Is This The Way To) Amarillo’ and The Ring Two topped the UK box office. Meanwhile, West Ham United completed their second away victory in three days following a 2-0 weekend win at Wigan.

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In front of 12,209 at Turf Moor in this midweek encounter, Ade Akinbiyi wasted Burnley’s best chance of the first half after heading wide of the target. Hammers forward Teddy Sheringham fired just wide before a mistake let the Irons in to seal the three points with the game’s only goal. With seven minutes to go, a loose pass allowed Marlon Harewood to round the goalkeeper and square for Sheringham to calmly stroke home the winner three days after his 39th birthday. The veteran would be voted Hammer of the Year a few weeks later, with a teenaged Mark Noble runner-up. The goal from this match can be viewed in my video below – the referee that night, incidentally, was Kevin Friend, who will take charge of tomorrow’s encounter at Turf Moor too.

Burnley would close the season in 13th position, while the Hammers would finish in sixth place and be promoted via the Play-Offs; Sunderland won the Championship title, Chelsea won the Premier League and Arsenal won the FA Cup. Marlon Harewood was the Irons’ top scorer with 22 goals from 54 matches.

Burnley: Danny Coyne, Frank Sinclair (Tony Grant), John McGreal, Gary Cahill, Mo Camara, John Oster (Jean-Louis Valois), Micah Hyde, James O’Connor, Graham Branch (Michael Duff), Ade Akinbiyi, Dean Bowditch.

West Ham United: Jimmy Walker, Tomas Repka, Anton Ferdinand, Elliott Ward, Chris Powell, Shaun Newton, Hayden Mullins (Carl Fletcher), Nigel Reo-Coker, Mark Noble (Matthew Etherington), Marlon Harewood (Bobby Zamora), Teddy Sheringham.

Club Connections

Joe Hart welcomes his former club to Turf Moor. A small collection of players join him in having turned out for the Hammers and the Clarets. They include:

Goalkeepers: Tommy Hampson, Herman Conway and Frank Birchenough.

Defenders: Tyrone Mears, Joe Gallagher, David Unsworth, Tommy Dunn, Jack Tresadern, Jon Harley and Mitchell Thomas.

Midfielders: Junior Stanislas, Reg Attwell, Matt Taylor and Luke Chadwick.

Strikers: Bill Jenkinson, Sam Jennings, Walter Pollard, Ian Moore , Alan Taylor and Zavon Hines.

John Bond played for the Hammers and managed the Clarets.

Today’s focus is on a former England international striker who ended his career with Burnley having also represented West Ham United late in his distinguished career. Ian Wright was born on the 3rd November 1963 in Woolwich and began his professional career with Steve Coppell’s Crystal Palace, joining from Greenwich Borough at the age of 21 in the summer of 1985. He moved to George Graham’s Arsenal for a club record £2.5m in September 1991, having already made his England debut in February 1991 while still at Selhurst Park but, despite his goalscoring exploits, was left out of England’s Euro ’92 squad by Graham Taylor.

Wright went on to be Arsenal’s top scorer for six consecutive seasons, playing a major part in the club’s success during the 1990s, winning an FA Cup and League Cup double in 1993 and scoring in both the FA Cup Final and replay against Sheffield Wednesday. He also helped Arsenal reach the 1993/94 Cup Winners’ Cup Final, although he was suspended for the Final in which Arsenal beat Parma 1–0. He scored five goals in England’s qualification campaign for the 1994 World Cup, the first a key equaliser in a 1-1 draw in Poland and four in a 7-1 victory in San Marino, but the Three Lions failed to qualify for the tournament. Wright also made one start and three substitute appearances in Terry Venables’ first five games as England manager but thereafter never played under Venables again.

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Wright scored a total of 185 goals for Arsenal before moving to the Hammers in July 1998 at the age of 34 for £500,000 and scored the winner on his debut in a 1-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday on 15th August 1998. He followed that up with two goals on his home debut but the Irons threw away a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 to Wimbledon. He scored the winner in a 1-0 home win over Southampton, a goal made famous for its celebration as Wright and Neil Ruddock parodied Paolo Di Canio’s push on referee Paul Alcock – Di Canio was to join them as a team-mate four months later! A brace followed in a 3-0 Hallowe’en win at Newcastle and Wright closed 1998 with a goal in a 2-0 home win over Coventry. Injury kept Wright on the sidelines for three months at the start of 1999 but he scored as a substitute in his second game back, a 5-1 triumph over Derby on 17th April, before scoring the opener a week later in a fine 2-1 win at Tottenham. Wright was sent off the following week in a 5-1 home defeat to Leeds and vandalised the referee’s room on his way to an early bath – the Hammers finished with eight men as Shaka Hislop and Steve Lomas were also dismissed by Rob Harris.

Wright also won his final two England caps while playing for West Ham, in a Euro 2000 qualifier in Luxembourg and a home friendly against the Czech Republic. He won 33 caps for England, scoring nine goals – only Mick Channon has played more times for England without being taken to a major tournament. Wright’s final appearance for the Hammers came as a substitute in the 1-0 InterToto Cup third round first leg win over Jokerit of Finland at Upton Park on 17th July 1999. He scored nine goals in 26 appearances for West Ham United – all nine of these goals can be viewed on the West Ham Till I Die social media pages.

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Wright went on to have a loan spell with Nottingham Forest before departing the Hammers permanently for Celtic. He moved to Stan Ternent’s Burnley, then in the third tier, on Valentine’s Day 2000, teaming up with old friend and fellow former Hammer Mitchell Thomas. Wright made his Clarets debut in a 0-0 draw with Wigan at Turf Moor on 19th February 2000 – the only time he had failed to score on his debut for a new club. His first goal for Burnley was an 88th-minute equaliser at Gillingham on 14th March 2000 and he followed that up with his first goal at Turf Moor four days later in a 3-0 win over Reading. Wright scored the 90th-minute winner in a 2-1 home victory against Notts County on 8th April and bagged his final goal for the club in a 3-2 win at Brentford on 24th April 2000. After scoring four goals in 15 appearances for Burnley, culminating in promotion to Division One, Wright took the decision to hang up his boots and bring the curtain down on an illustrious playing career – he was awarded an MBE in 2000.

Wright, who turned 56 last Sunday, has since been Director of Football at Ashford Town and first-team coach at MK Dons. He is now a regular pundit on Match of the Day and ITV’s coverage of England internationals.

Referee

Saturday’s referee is Kevin Friend, who also refereed the featured match at the top of this preview. The Leicester-based official has been involved in top-flight matches since 2009 and took charge of the Hammers in our historic 3-0 victory at Liverpool in August 2015. He sent off Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and West Ham’s Mark Noble in that match at Anfield, with the latter’s dismissal rescinded on appeal. Friend most recently refereed the Hammers in our 1-1 home draw with Liverpool in February and also took charge of our 1-0 defeat at Brighton in October 2018.

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Friend is also remembered for the soft penalty he gifted Hull in our 1-0 defeat at the KC Stadium in September 2013 when Joey O’Brien was adjudged to have shoved Robbie Brady. He compounded the error by later denying the Irons a clear penalty when Jake Livermore handled in the area. Don’t expect much from Friend in the way of handball decisions – he also denied the Hammers a penalty in a match at Everton when Aaron Cresswell’s cross was handled by Seamus Coleman.

Possible line-ups

Burnley are without Danny Drinkwater and Johann Berg Gudmundsson but Chris Wood is likely to be available. Burnley have recorded only two home victories against the Hammers in the last 40 years. The Clarets have won just two of their last ten games against West Ham in all competitions.

West Ham United are without Lukasz Fabianski, Winston Reid and Michail Antonio, while Jack Wilshere is a doubt. The Hammers have won 14, drawn four and lost just three of their last 21 matches against Burnley home and away in all competitions, stretching back to 1979.

Possible Burnley XI: Pope; Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick, Cork, Westwood; McNeil; Barnes, Wood.

Possible West Ham United XI: Roberto; Fredericks, Balbuena, Diop, Cresswell; Rice, Noble, Snodgrass; Lanzini, Anderson; Haller.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!


Nigel Kahn’s Column

Losing My Religion

Life is bigger
It’s bigger than you
And you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no I’ve said too much
I set it up

Its been a while since last I wrote. There are various reasons for that of which some are personal and some I struggle to admit. Partly it’s that when the club gets itself into a rut like it has, trying to write something different from the rest can be a struggle for me. I sit sometimes on the sidelines reading the social media outpourings and at times I wonder how these West Ham fans would have coped years ago.

For me, John Lyall is the greatest ever manager we have had and yet he is the only manager to relegate the club twice and when considering our last five relegations since his first in 1978, he took the longest time in getting the club promoted back to the top flight. Three season from 1978-1981.

How would social media and those who like me, who set themselves up as commentators on the club, have treated him? It’s quite possible if he survived not being sacked in 78, he would have been in 79 after his failure to achieve an instant return.

I very much doubt Sullivan would have allowed him the chance to win the cup in 1980 as he would have succumbed to fans questioning his tactics, and possibly his personality just as many pile into our current manager after this current sticky spell.

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough
I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

I’ve just watched a video by Gonzo on Hammers Chat. He was posed a question: Have Gold Sullivan & Brady destroyed West Ham?

I like Kris. In fact, he’s the only vlogger I watch now. I’ve shared & enjoyed his company many a time and always look forward to meeting him, yet watching this video I was surprised to hear him admit he believed in the move, that he was willing to trade the authenticity of West Ham at Upton Park for the move to get success.

He then waxes lyrical how he feels the three amigos have, as the question says, destroyed West Ham as was.

I found it tough watching though, mainly because I spent so long trying to fight the move. When I hear people admit they were taken in by the owners it highlights the failure of what I, and those others that campaigned as best we could, achieved.

When I hear fans admit they once bought into the dream only to realise it was false, there is no satisfaction of us being right, it actually just guts me more and I suspect those that I stood alongside feel the same.

Every whisper
Of every waking hour, I’m
Choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool
Oh no I’ve said too much
I set it up

The move has divided the fanbase like Brexit has divided the country. People on either side have no respect anymore for the other’s point of view. So many talk about uniting the fanbase. WHUISA was supposed to be an attempt to do that, yet that descended into a farce to the point where even though most of the committee were anti Board, I felt disenfranchised from those I was supposed to agree with. Three times elected onto the committee, yet three times I walked away, resigning, as my frustration at the ineptitude of some others on the committee left me nowhere to turn.

I look to Hammers United now, but they fail like many at WHUISA to grasp that if you want to set yourselves up as fan representatives, you have to deal with the people you despise the most. The owners. They claim the club refuses to engage but then fall into the trap the club set. They liaise with the club SLO by email, so the club can say they engage with them.

HU want to sit down with them, but on their terms. They fail to see it’s the club that sets the rules of engagement. HU now have complained to the FA, Premier League and even UEFA, trying to point a gun at the clubs head and say, talk to us.

The club will point out they have contact via the supporter liaison officer so they do talk to them. If they want to come in and meet, they have a forum set up, they just need to apply. How now will the club and HU ever have meaningful discussions after this stunt?

Who loses? Not the club, but the fans. HU would achieve far more from the inside, putting over members concerns, than they ever will emailing the S.L.O and complaining to the institutions that WHU are members of. They will never sanction WHU they will only side with them.

I attended the recent ticketing meeting, the outcome of which has led to the club announcing some changes. Away tickets that can’t be used will be able to be returned to the club, though refund will only happen if the ticket is then sold.

The ballot will not be a blanket 10% but be staggered, below 3,000 allocations it drops to 7%, then below 2,000, it goes to 5%. No ballot below 1500 allocation. I went into that meeting, I claimed to represent no one but myself, and yet the staggered ballot was put forward by me.

Whether you agree with it or not, just by being in the meeting, I’ve achieved more than HU have or WHUISA actually. Imagine what they could achieve for fans if they stopped acting like prima donnas and held their noses and went to the club.

Consider this
The hint of the century
Consider this
The slip that brought me
To my knees failed
What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around
Now I’ve said too much

West Ham to me feels like an addiction. It is my drug of choice. They say that addicts won’t start to kick the habit until they hit rock bottom, then they have to acknowledge that problem. I’m not sure I’m at that point yet. I didn’t attend the Sheffield United game. I now have work on Saturdays with my family. I could have made the game but decided not to and just five minutes into the game I was regretting not being there. Watching at home just didn’t feel right.

I had hoped I wouldn’t have missed it, but alas I’m still under this curse.

I do feel though, I am LOSING MY RELIGION.

As outlined above, the club is no longer resembling anything I thought the club ever stood for, wiped away on a gamble that while that in my belief will never pay off for the fans. The one thing that has grown far bigger than anything else to do with West Ham since we moved, is the share price. The true reason for this debacle.

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try
But that was just a dream
That was just a dream
just a dream, just a dream
dream


Match Report

A new regime - mine

“O, woe is me T’ have seen what I have seen, see what I see!” This no doubt is what Shakespeare would have said after watching the game against Newcastle. And David Sullivan was spotted in a pub on Sunday saying, ‘Who will rid me of this clueless manager’.

I will be seventy next week. Even though one can be in perfect health, I can tell you that a realisation dawns on you that you are not quite as motivated as you once were and that you realise your ideas are beginning to be out of date. Pellegrini persist with the same system he has used for years. There is very little variation. It’s as if he is unable to put his brain in gear. He’s an old banger coming to the end of his useful life as a manager.

Mark Noble says that Pellegrini exudes an air of calmness. No wonder. If I was on £10 million a year and knew it made no difference if I got sacked, because this was my last job, I would be calm. Calmness is not what is required in the current situation.

I suggest Pellegrini take a leaf out of the rugby coaches’ book. They watch the game from the stands so that can get an overall view of the game. I am sure that one’s view if distorted if one stands on the sidelines at the same level as the players.

Let’s start with our bad luck. It was unfortunate we lost Fabulanski. Roberto is what he is – a reserve goalkeeper, desperately short of game time. We can’t blame him for the loss, as Newcastle could have had five in the first half. But he was definitely at fault for two goals and we know that a safe pair of hands gives an air of confidence to the players in front of him.

Last night I dreamt that David Sullivan contacted me and asked me to take over. First of all, I would most definitely concentrate of defence and play Balbuena, Diop and Ogbonna as the back three. This would allow our full backs to becoming really attacking. I would put Zabaleta out to pasture( you could see on Saturday he completely ran out of ideas when going forward) and ask Fredericks to start using his speed to get to the byline and cross the ball to Haller, who is getting no service at all.

I would build a statue for Mark Noble and replace him by playing Lanzini in a deeper roll. With a back three, he would have the confidence to roam forwards.
I would let Snodgrass go and canvass for Scottish Independence. He’s made a good effort this season but is too slow for the Premier League. And I would bring back Grady Diangana from West Brom.

I have never understood why Masuaku is a full back. He is a wasted talent. I would move him to midfield and encourage him to using his skills on the ball to penetrate defences.
Then, I would call the players in one by one and tell them their performance is no effing good. I would want them to be first of the ball from the first whistle. I would end the regime of calmness and institute one of terror, like an effective king. Let’s face it, we sometimes forget footballers are young men and young men respect discipline. You can’t run an army by exuding an air of calmness. Was Napoleon ever calm?

Then, I would wake up and realise none of this is going to happen. I have just consulted my crystal ball. We’re going to drop like a stone and spend the rest of the season fighting to avoid relegation. OK, we’re not the only one in trouble – Everton, Norwich, Watford and Southampton also have problems to name a few, but I want to leave the London Stadium knowing our players tried, even though they lost.


The GoatyGav Column

A Keeper Of Confidence

Over the last three to four weeks I’ve posted several comments in support of Roberto. He’s come in and done ok for my money. I think that he’s shown what he’s about with some really decent shots stopped. He’s made very few errors and it’s debatable whether those have led to goals conceded. The second Newcastle goal, for which I left my seat to visit the little boys room (yes, I know, it was my fault), was, almost certainly, down to his indecision in coming for the ball and ending up stranded off his line without a chance of claiming the ball but who’s to say that wouldn’t have ended up in the back of the net. In any event that rush of blood to the head wouldn’t have led to his defence gaining confidence in him and it’s that point that forms the basis of this article.

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My brother and I, along with all those who stayed behind, applauded San Miguel Adrian on the season’s player parade lap last season. He got the loudest chant sung about him, in the lower tier section that we went down to, and deservedly so in my opinion. I wouldn’t say that Adrian was a club legend but he came pretty close. One of the club’s most memorable moments, of the last decade, was the penalty shootout victory against Everton in the 3rd round replay of the cup in 2015. After fellow Spaniard Joel Robles hit the crossbar with his spot kick the image of our charismatic keeper confidently throwing off his gloves and coolly burying his penner is emblazoned on our memories for all time. One of those moments I’ll remember exactly where I was, as I didn’t attend the match, as I jigged my way around the social club where I was playing a darts match.

San Miguel was not without his detractors at West Ham. Criticism of him re-surfaced from time to time after he had his occasional ‘moments’ that had us all wondering what was going through his mind. They were, however, exactly that – just moments. Ninety nine percent of the time Adrian was a superb keeper for us. As time rolled by he also improved his consistency and the mistakes were fewer and farther between.

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Nowadays Adrian plies his trade as the backup keeper for Liverpool. Shortly after joining the European Champions he found himself thrown in to the first team during, and following, the match of the injury to Alisson in the season opener against Norwich City on 9th August. With little time to adjust, after thirty nine minutes of the Premier League Season having passed, our ex-keeper helped Liverpool boss the league and go on an amazing winning run of eight games before handing the mantle back to Alisson. In fact the winning streak ended with Alisson’s return for the Merseysider’s visit to Old Trafford on the 20th October.

As well as directly effecting the outcome of games, through goals conceded, goalkeeper’s performances, and overall presence, have a direct effect on a team’s confidence. Since the injury to Fabianski West Ham’s first team confidence has gradually ebbed away. Apart from the team’s results, and league position, heading South there’s been a visible deterioration in the outfield tempo, fluency and cohesion. Fabianski’s injury came after thirty-four minutes of play at Bournemouth on 28th September. The team were goalless at the Vitality Stadium having just beaten Manchester United at home, drawn at Villa Park and beaten Norwich City – all without conceding a goal. Before that we’d won three–one at Watford and drawn one each with Brighton. The fact that Man City had put five past us in the previous match had little to do with Fabianski’s performance.

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Don’t get me wrong. I’m not placing the blame for all our woes at Roberto’s door. Going back to the first paragraph of this article I’m clear in my support of him as a deputy. I just wonder whether the club’s owners now rue the decision not to improve Adrian’s contract and if they now believe that the extra wages would have been worthwhile paying. Most of the squad knew San Miguel very well and, I’m sure, would have been playing with far more confidence with the Spaniard behind them because of the relationship developed over the six seasons. Added to that the fact he’s still only thirty-two years of age one can only believe that the board would have to admit to having made a mistake.

Elsewhere the West Ham Ladies edged out Reading in a cup competition for the second year running. This time it was the Continental League Cup, and not the F.A. Cup, but again away to the Berkshire side. Alisha Lehman scored the only goal of the match, so no extra-time or penalties on this occasion, and the highlights can be viewed on the official club site. From what I could make out the women really impressed and moved the ball well. Encouraging signs for the rest of the season to come. Next time out, on the 17th November, they’re away to the mighty Manchester City. Best of luck to the Ironesses for that match.

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The U23s suffered a loss, and gained a good win, against Wolfsburg in the Premier League International Cup and Swansea in PL2 respectively. Two stunning efforts from Wolfsburg saw the German team come out three-two victors however Anthony Scully kept up his incredible Scoring run which continued at Swansea where he grabbed another in the four-two win. Nathan Holland grabbed an impressive brace against the Swans with Dan Kemp also finishing beautifully for the fourth. Their next outing is a trip to high flying Exeter City in the Checkatrade Trophy on 13th. Once again the highlights can be viewed at www.whufc.com.

Have a good week all.

COME ON YOU RIP ROARIN’ IRONS!


The HamburgHammer Column

Magpies mash West Ham - liquor won't help after that sorry performance

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I am almost lost for words. Which is rare. This was like watching a massive pile-up-style car crash on the M4, only with fewer injured people and less actual car body damage at the end of it.

But as with a car crash, I couldn’t just go past the scene, averting my eyes and minding my own business.

I had to watch it all unfold until the bitter end when we briefly looked as if we might create the mother of all comebacks.

Our very own Toddyhammer had made the long way to the London Stadium from Prague, so even season-ticketless Iron Liddy set foot inside the bowl once more for this occasion, but I have an inkling that this performance will not have enhanced her desire to return anytime soon. I wouldn’t blame her.

I cannot give you any meticulous analysis here, nevermind conclusive answers in terms of what went wrong and what can be done to fix it.
Actually, I do have a tiny bit of analysis to deliver.

We shouldn’t have started Zabaleta against a very pacy Newcastle attacking front. Fredericks should have played from the start.
And I have to say that, despite making several good saves, our backup keeper Roberto doesn’t fill me with confidence after the way he was oozing uncertainty for long stretches of the game.
When you’re going to claim a ball as goalkeeper you need to come out all the way and try to get there first, you don’t stop halfway through your run like Roberto did just before conceding the second goal.

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There was only one player in our squad who could leave the pitch with his head held high and his conscience intact after 90 minutes:

Robert Snodgrass. Covering every blade of grass on the pitch, whipping in dangerous crosses and set pieces all game, unfortunately without his teammates making the most of those efforts. And his goal was a masterful strike, worthy of earning any team a point or three. But let’s be honest, we didn’t deserve to get ANYTHING from the game after a shambolic afternoon of lackluster and inept football.

Before this game, Newcastle had never scored more than one goal in any competitive game all season. In this one they could and maybe should have scored five or six. That’s how terrible we were. But it’s nothing new.

All too often we make teams going through a rough spell look like Barcelona as soon as they step out onto the same pitch as us. I have no idea why that is. We all know our players are better than this, most of them can actually pick a good pass, they can all run, tackle, find the top corner with a curler or belter from 25 yards out on any given day.

I know plenty of fans are beginning to feel sick and tired about Pellegrini’s role in all this. Somehow still, maybe foolishly, I am not prepared to blame him.

Yes, maybe he got the Zabaleta decision wrong. But the entire team were off the pace (again) and as a consequence all over the pitch. Conceding from two set pieces in quick succession ?

What the hell are these guys doing at Rush Green all week between Monday and Friday ? When you go into games with that low a level of application, desire and ability to carry out the footballing basics of defending, you won’t get many points in this league.

It’s a measly 2 points from a possible 15 we earned from our past five league fixtures. That’s relegation form and we can only praise the Lord that there are a number of other teams in the Premier League who have performed even worse than us. I know that ultimately the buck stops with the gaffer, however, I’m actually more angry with the players than the manager.

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Where do we go from here ? The games aren’t getting any easier, that’s for sure! I don’t know if maybe some sort of team bonding exercise is required: A visit to Alton Towers maybe. Or wild water rafting although I’d be too worried our players might lose the paddle and end up down a certain creek where the smell is apparently not very nice.

The thing is that we have pretty much everything in place to play good football. Pellegrini is a vastly experienced manager, we have a good mix of seasoned and young players, some with pace, others with tackling skills, tricks and flicks or even the ability to hold up the ball. But the chemistry just isn’t there, at all! Which is also true for confidence which is by now gone completely, maybe it is hiding in the same place where fortune is still lying in wait, in some dark and dodgy corner of Britain. Who knows ?

Or is there the need for a player or two in the dressing room getting really loud while delivering some uncomfortable home truths here ? Surely Mark Noble as the skipper would be the automatic choice for that particular task. But he had a stinker against Newcastle like the rest of the team. So any “must do better”-speech from him might sound a bit hollow and ironic at this point.

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As fans all we can do is take defeats like this on the chin and carry on supporting the team, watching the games, trying to stay positive – as irrational as that may sound after such a terrible performance.

But then again, we’ve been here before with this club. West Ham practically invented bad runs of form in football. We have also in the past gone down with a team full of quality players who were deemed, well, too good to go down.

This club can do weird and wonderful things, but also those of the weird and painful variety. Somehow we need to find the formula for a bit more wonderful again…and fast! COYI!!!

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Hamburg football update: Another shocking surrender from St.Pauli who only managed a 2:2 draw against Karlsruhe (Bilic’s former club), after conceding two goals in the last 15 minutes. They remain stuck in no-man’s land of the table. Hamburg SV were away at bottom club Wiesbaden, with a perfect chance to put some more daylight between themselves and the chasing pack at the top of the table. They only drew 1:1 and remain in first place for now, however, with both Stuttgart and Bielefeld in hot pursuit after winning their games respectively.
As for Concordia, the first team won a midweek encounter on Halloween/Reformation Day by a 1:0 scoreline at home against Osdorf, but the score doesn’t tell the whole story as the Cordi lads hit the woodwork SIX (!!!) times. Still, three points. Then on Sunday it was an away fixture at unbeatable table toppers Dassendorf. A 1:2 defeat didn’t come unexpected and was a decent enough result, all things considered (the Cordi keeper had to leave the pitch after fracturing his hand after colliding with an opponent).

The U23s won 6:1 at home, scoring all seven goals on the day. Promotion looks unlikely at this point, but not impossible.
The women’s team won their crucial home tie against Scala 7:3. The cushion above the non-promotion places is seven points now. Nice one!


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