I have a soft spot for Burnley. As an eleven year old in 1960, I went to a game at White Hart Lane with my cousin. As youngsters, we were pushed to the front and got a terrific view. It was the glory years for Spurs and I loathed them, as my Dad’s friend was always gloating. Spurs went three up with three goals in three minutes. Then, it was four, but Burnley pulled one back half time. In the second half, Burnley scored twice in two minutes and equalised with ten minutes to go. What a game! The next day, the press described it as ‘The Greatest Show on Earth.’
Do you think you would see two eleven year olds on their own, attending a Premier League game today?
As the game with Burnley approaches, I have a problem. The four biggest internet service providers now block access to online servers where you could watch previously illegal streams. Apparently, a third of all football supporters have watched illegal streams. But EU law has tightened up. Now, you could be sitting comfortably in your home and a SWAT squad could batter down your front door, march you out handcuffed and imprison you.
Personally, I don’t like any laws which cannot be implemented. Is it beyond the reach of human ingenuity to enable fans to watch their teams on TV, when they play away. I know the economics are a little daunting – Sky paid £4.18 billion to screen 126 fixtures this year, which is about £33 million per game. But, they sell the games for £7.99 with a day pass to NOW TV. Couldn’t each club buy a licence, so that its season ticket holders can get access to away games at a similar price?
I am told the North West Ambulance Service has contacted West Ham to find out if Andy Carroll is starting, so they can decide how many ambulances to send. Do bookies take bets of sending offs?
I see in his statement, David Sullivan has been working round the clock on the contract for Declan Rice., just as he did to sign William Carvalho. He confirms the club wants to keep the best players coming through the Academy and that, no doubt, explains why Burke Reece was sold to Hull City.
Rice, himself, thanks the players, the fans and the manager. How rude! He didn’t thank the board.
Sullivan was working so hard on the deal that he even gave up his Christmas Day to work. I understand the Prime Minister will be contacting him, in the new year, as she wants him to produce and book and film with explicit photos, called ‘How the UK got f**ked by the EU.’
I must say that the West Ham website is completely useless and I hardly bother to read it. Its articles sound as if they have been written by Josef Goebbels. Just take a look at injury news, which was last updated on 20th December 2018. No news about Lanzini. We are not informed that Jack Wilshere will need another operation, which will keep him for the rest of the season. I wish him the very best. I think we forget how young our players are. They earn a lot, but they must be under tremendous psychological pressure. We know what happened to players like Jimmy Greaves, George Best and Gazza.
I see Karren Brady has put the mockers on Leeds United. On Friday, she predicted they would win the Championship in her notorious Sun column and on Saturday, they lost to Hull at home. By the way, Reece Burke was in the Hull team.
Anyway, back to the game. This sums up the first half – poor, awful, terrible, dreadful, ghastly, horrid, abominable, appalling, atrocious, frightful, sickening, lousy, substandard, woeful, abysmal and dire.
In the second half, although Burnley should have scored another couple in the first few minutes, we were better, largely due to Antonio. But, in the end, the performance reminded me of my barbecue. Sometimes, I light it and get a great flame, but , at other times, the coals just won’t burn.
It looks like we are a side which depends on the magic of Anderson, but today, he just wasn’t on fire. This wasn’t the Greatest Show on Earth.