The HamburgHammer Column

Can't score for toffee ? Maybe we can at least score against the Toffees.

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International weekends in football aren’t what they used to be. Back in the day I could muster at least a modicum of excitement whenever Die Mannschaft, as the German national side have been known for a few years now, took the field for a game. Not anymore. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I don’t think the (non) performance at the most recent World Cup is the main issue here. Club football is just so much more important, at least that’s how it feels for me.

All I know is that Germany were apparently playing a team from deepest darkest Peru in a friendly over the weekend. And there were plenty of international matches in a new-fangled competition called UEFA Nations League. Apparently it’s not quite as complicated as it seems and sounds. Once I have figured out for myself what the point actually is and if it is a good idea, I shall get back to you on that one…

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So, what has been happening in the world of West Ham lately? Not much apparently, other than some more posturing and legal wranglings delivered by the highly competent owners of the stadium we play half of our season’s fixtures in and our club hierarchy. I understand the latest issue is about the colour and costs of a new stadium carpet.
On another level it is about certain people realising that West Ham’s rent on its own isn’t sufficient to actually keep the stadium going, not without eventually selling the naming rights of the stadium and/or increasing the rent.

Whatever the ifs, buts, pros and cons are here, please don’t ask me to talk much more about this shambles of a situation (again). Me old strawberry tart can’t handle that kind of crap as well as it used to a few years ago. It is a massive can of worms for sure, a display of stupidity and stubbornness of epic proportions – a sad state of affairs all around.
I suppose that’s why our club happens to be right in the middle of it, we seem to be attracted to situations like these just like flies do to a fresh pile of horse poo. Only at West Ham!

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Thank God West Ham football will be back next week and hopefully we will be seeing a positive reaction from the team and at the very least a fighting performance.

I remember learning a few things about Everton from a former colleague of mine at Hapag (who looked a bit like Darren Anderton) when I was working in Barking – I once shared a room with the guy during some sort of company weekend trip and for some reason which escapes me at the moment he turned out to be an Everton supporter.

I learned from him that Everton were actually based in Liverpool, and no, I didn’t know that when I arrived in Britain in 1996, same as I wasn’t aware that Villa were in Birmingham. I also had no idea whereabout in England Sunderland might be.

Be that as it may, my colleague told me a few things about his team, for instance why Everton were commonly known as The Toffees (I do like toffee, but not so much that I would have contemplated switching my allegiance to Everton there and then). Many years later of course I met the Concordia goalkeeping coach who happens to be an Everton supporter as well, a guy owning a giant Rottweiler dog called Neville, named after Everton goalkeeping legend Neville Southall.

Having seen video footage of Neville the goalkeeper – and live performances of Neville the dog – I have to say that the name doesn’t really fit the canine: The dog used to be a much better jumper than the guy (at least before the Rottweiler developed arthritis in old age) and also he was nowhere near as fat as Southall in his Everton heyday…

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I really don’t know what to expect from the Everton game. We don’t usually travel well when it comes to Scouseland, as a rule of thumb, no matter if it’s the red or the blue corner of Liverpool.

But we do need to see some vital signs coming from our lads. And at some point this season we will need to start putting some points on the board. So why delay any further actually ? Why not give it a proper go, try to minimise the number of on-field blunders and get a highly unexpected first away win of the season ?
Mr.Pellegrini, over to you!

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Hamburg football update: No games for the big clubs due to international weekend, and with no West Ham game on the box either I filled my Cordi boots with a tripleheader of games over two days, with mixed success. The first team lost on Friday evening, 0:1 away at Victoria in front of nearly 300 spectators (don’t laugh, it’s a decent crowd for league games at that level).

On Saturday came the news that Cordi’s director of football had left his position at short notice and by mutual consent. Rumours are he messed up the transfer of two players who are now allegedly not eligible to play until January while still drawing wages from Concordia. Looks like someone forgot to fill out a form or put the wrong stamps on the envelope.
Sounds like something West Ham might do, doesn’t it ? ;-))

On Sunday the U23s surprisingly lost their home game 1:2, against a side of bullies, loudmouths and brutes from the outskirts of town. The referee on the occasion was very young and inexperienced though and I can understand why he was very cautious not to blow his whistle against the visitors too often. Even I got slightly scared looking into some of those boats. Frightening! But parts of the matchday experience reminded me of Upton Park. Where else nowadays would you expect to see heated verbal exchanges between players and fans ?

As the weather was lovely and the Concordia women’s team was up next, well, it would have been impolite to leave, so I watched them win their game 5:0 (finally a Cordi victory!), with three of the goals being almost identical. A very gifted, but small winger named Michelle “Mini” Hille was running the show, easing past her opponents on the right wing almost at will, pulling the ball back into the box into the very same spot three times resulting in three goals from three different scorers. Lovely to watch.

Women’s football will always be slower in tempo than the male variety, however, it does have its merits. Less playacting, less unsportsmanlike conduct in general, no nasty fouls, risking injury to fellow players, no crowds around the referee whenever a foul is given and a far more relaxed and family-friendly crowd, if you know what I mean…;-))

PS: Next Friday will see Concordia hosting Altona (anyone remember them of 3:3 preseason fame?) Altona always bring plenty of fans to away games, so this one might well be a rare sellout at Concordia, guaranteeing a lively atmosphere in front of a full house which in Cordi’s case means 500-600 fans.
If you fancy it, there will be a free stream available again:

www.sporttotal.tv/spiele/oberliga-hamburg-spiel-84-concordia-1-altona-93-1-8-spieltag-


The HamburgHammer Column

Gaffer, do we really have to play football this Saturday? Again?

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It’s Monday and I’m still fuming, even after having two nights sleep after the Wolves game, trying to digest it all and put it into perspective, weighing up the positives against the obvious negatives and so forth.

But I am still spitting fire and not just because we lost. I know we were reasonably close to a goalless draw, but I won’t even blame Sanchez for losing the ball late in the game in an impossible position close to his own penalty box, allowing Wolves to nick the game in classic daylight robbery style.

It is very rare that I agree with a certain Alan Shearer, but this time I couldn’t help it. He complained about West Ham players’ body language. I concur.
He mentioned complete lack of effort. Walking. Jogging. Yep, that’s what I saw, but couldn’t quite believe either.

No intensity whatsoever. If you perform like this, you’re going to get nowhere. Yes, I seem to have bought my crystal ball from the same shop as Mr.Shearer because mine is saying exactly the same.

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Call me naive or call me hopelessly old-fashioned, but the very least I expect from every player putting on the claret and whatever blue is left on the shirt is effort, desire and the willingness to leave everything out there on the pitch after 90 minutes plus stoppage time of Premier League football.
I do expect that especially from professional players who do this for a living and are being paid very handsomely for the privilege.

I am fully aware that we are in for another transitional season, I expected us, at the start of the season, to finish slightly higher than last season, but not a lot, between 10th and 12th probably. I stick to that prediction. But the cold hard facts are that we have played four games now and have yet to win a single point. And we have some very hard fixtures lurking after the international break, so it may indeed be quite a while yet before we should begin climbing the table from rock bottom upwards.

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Please be so kind and explain this to me Mr.Pellegrini:
We have played only four league games so far this season, the new campaign is still young. Yet our players already look as if they can’t be bothered to play football. Why is that ? Too knackered still from preseason ?

The league game should be the pinnacle of every footballer’s week. Showing tricks and flicks or busting a gut in training is nice of course, but out there on the pitch on matchday is where it counts. Where your character and application as a ball-playing athlete matters.

At this stage of the season every player should be itching to put on the West Ham shirt and get the home crowd off their seats with a scintillating performance delivered in front of a full stadium. And impress his manager too in the process.

And I’m afraid having to admit that I see more effort in every single game that even the Concordia U23 lads (amateurs) play than what our boys did against Wolves. Losing a football game is one thing, losing without looking remotely interested is a different matter altogether.

I heard an interesting quote from, sorry, the Concordia first team manager who has brought in a few more signings before the local transfer deadline, why ? Because he felt some players, maybe subconsciously, felt too secure of their position and role in the team due to the overall (decent) quality.

He said that if a player, nevermind several players in the same team, decides to put in only 70 or 80% effort instead of 100% because there are other quality players around him to mop up any shortcomings, well, that’s when you are just missing out by inches (or yards on winning a challenge, a tackle, an interception during the game.

So as manager you do want the players to know that they either have to put in a proper shift or their shirt will be worn by another player for the next game who is indeed willing to leave blood, sweat and tears on the pitch for the sake of the entire team, the club and the fans.

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Against Wolves I saw too many West Ham players pointing out mistakes to their teammates, shrugging shoulders, shifting blame left, right and center. Of course you need a general or two on the pitch who direct, encourage and yes, also get out the hair dryer for their teammates if need be, but every single player needs to put in a shift. Preferably without having to be told so in advance. Again, they are professionals.

That’s the only way you can or will win games in the Premier League.

I have no doubt that Pellegrini is a very good football manager, so I am confident he will address his team in the right manner after the Wolves (non) performance.
If all players put 100% in, we should be a match for most teams in the league and I include opponents like Everton, Manchester United or Spurs here.
We can beat these teams, we have quality players in our squad, however, not much is going to change if only three players put the effort in with the rest of the team merely practising their ball-watching as pedestrians and passengers.

I wonder how our upcoming training sessions will pan out, I surely hope MP will put the players through their paces and demand a proper reaction for the next game.
West Ham fans are a bunch that’s accustomed to seeing our team lose games. We are used to seeing blunders and gaffes. We are used to seeing the lads snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and still we always forgive and come back for more.

What we don’t forgive, in my experience, is players who show a lack of effort and desire. Players who perform like they just don’t care or can’t be arsed.
West Ham fans do like a battler and a trier though. The 2018 version of West Ham need to try harder. COYI!!!

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Hamburg football update: St.Pauli lost a wild one, 3:5 at home against Cologne. Hamburg SV’s game on Saturday was cancelled at short notice as the county of Sachsen couldn’t provide enough staff to police the game in Dresden due to a high number of ad hoc protest marches after the shenanigans in Chemnitz earlier.
You may have heard that there is a growing mob of right-wing protesters/neo-nazis here in Germany taking to the streets, showing ever more confidence and anger, causing quite a stir, especially in certain parts of East Germany. Let’s hope enough people in my country have learned our lesson from 85 years ago…that’s all I’m prepared to say at this point…

Both Concordia teams won their fixtures, the first team on Friday, 2:1 at home against Niendorf and the U23s on Sunday afternoon (4:2 win), away, in the middle of nowhere beyond the south-easterly outskirts of town (60 mile roundtrip). The stadium was surrounded by meadows, with cows and horses on them, you get the picture…


The HamburgHammer Column

Hand me the straitjacket - if you haven't got one, some painkillers will do!

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Call me crazy, call me mental or even call an ambulance, but I ain’t panicking yet! I actually saw a lot of things I liked about our performance at Arsenal. Of course you never really enjoy watching your team lose a game of football, but I reckon Arsenal were extremly lucky on the day. They of course converted their opportunities while we on the other hand didn’t convert some outright sitters. Goals don’t lie, but they don’t always tell the entire story:

Arsenal won, but I’m not really sure they deserved it.

In several stretches during the game we were all over them, time and time again easing past their midfield thanks to the scintillating pace of Felipe Anderson, of Antonio or Masuaku. If there had been more of an end product and we had just shown a bit more confidence in front of the opposition goal we might even have won that game.

Alas, it was not to be and matters didn’t improve on a personal level when a nasty toothache coming out of nowhere began ruining my entire weekend!
I got through it all somehow with the aid of some painkillers, but that didn’t provide points on the board for West Ham!

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It may sound bonkers, but I was quite impressed with the way we played, yes, despite the 1:3 scoreline! We are still looking shaky at the back (and this will probably be MP’s top priority for now), but in terms of switching from defence to attack our lads looked both pleasing on the eye and promising for the upcoming games, we looked like a proper team, with players making good runs and fighting for each other.

Also Fabianski pulled off a number of very decent saves and if it hadn’t been for him it might have turned into a very impressive Arsenal win instead of merely a lucky one.
The much maligned Sanchez also looked quite useful in his defensive midfielder role and I’m excited to see more from him.

Let’s not forget that Manuel Pellegrini is building a new team here, a squad of his own, playing with a distinct philosophy, style and swagger. This won’t happen overnight, same as Rome wasn’t built in a day. This is a marathon, not a sprint and why would anyone want to throw in the towel after just three games of the season ?
I know that football fans tend to take fickleness to whole new levels time and time again and I’m not excluding myself from that reproach.

However, if every fan got frustrated after three bad games (nevermind a whole season going badly or several in a row) I suppose one would have to find himself or herself a new club an awful lot or look out for a more successful team to support that may throw, kick or pass a differently shaped ball around…

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I don’t like losing, I think I’m pretty bad at it and this also applies to West Ham of course. It’s not nice coming into the Concordia clubhouse being greeted by players or staff asking why the heck West Ham lost again. While I consider it a small victory that plenty of those guys now check the West Ham scores regularly due to my supporting them I would love to report back to them not only about decent performances but also some wins sooner rather than later.

I am sure those wins will come, they may even pile up once we begin to get a taste of them. I have full trust in MP and his staff of coaches, I reckon the players trust him as well and it will take some time to keep the faith and improve together. It’s a long season and while we’re already with our backs to the wall after gaining zero points out of a possible nine we now of course have a decent opportunity to get things right in the upcoming cup fixture against Wimbledon…underground, overground, wombling free…oops, sorry, I forgot, NO SINGING!!! :-))

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Every cup game is a potential banana skin obviously, but I see this one more as a perfect opportunity to kickstart our season. I have no doubt that we have some decent players in our squad now, what these guys need is some confidence and they will get that once things start to click and results begin going our way. They will also gain said confidence if the support from the stands continues undiminished. Patience is key here, we have got all the ingredients in place, we just need to find the recipe and start cooking.
I’m sure the finished product will have been well worth the wait. COYI!!!

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Which brings me to the Hamburg football update: Hamburg SV are playing Bielefeld later today in the Monday Night game.
St.Pauli suffered a heavy defeat (1:4) in the capital at Union Berlin, but at least both Concordia teams won on Sunday, the U23s at home (4:1) and the first team away (4:0).
I was present for the away win and it was such a relief to see the Cordi lads play like a proper team, playing nice attacking football, scoring plenty of goals (they could have scored even more) and finally keeping a clean sheet on top of that!
The Cordi manager was so happy with the performance that he decided in the post-match huddle to give the boys some time off, so as an exception to the rule there will be no training this evening. Indeed the Cordi lads deserve it!

Hopefully something similar is going to happen at West Ham after a great performance against Wimbledon…


The HamburgHammer Column

A graveyard for defenders and a Danish funeral

This column will be a bit different and rather than writing in chronological order I will mix things up a bit to make it easier for those of you who only care about the West Ham related business (and not much else) and who will appreciate the opportunity to skip all the more personal stuff. So here it goes, West Ham first.

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It is rare for me to miss both the West Ham game (watching live on a stream or even in person) AND the Concordia first team game over the same weekend.

Only a very special reason will suffice to keep me away from my two clubs and indeed it was a sad cause that made this a very different, strange and highly emotional weekend for me. I had to, no, I felt the desire and responsibility to attend the church service for my recently deceased Danish godmother Else who passed away last week at the proud old age of 94 years.

I returned home late Saturday evening (more of the personal stuff later) just in time to catch a rerun of our game, albeit only the second half. I suppose most of the game has been discussed at length on the previous threads, but I was shocked to see the naivety of our defending (the lack of which, to be fair, already started further upfield with some lackluster tracking back).

I don’t care which PL team you are playing – if ONE opposition player is running towards your goal, ball at feet, with FIVE of your own players around him, you simply are not allowed as a professional football team to concede a goal from that situation. Period. Ballwatching doesn’t get you clean sheets!

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Just boot the ball into touch unceremoniously towards Hackney Marshes. Kick the opposition player’s ankle if need be, give away a freekick by way of committing a tactical foul, crowd out the player, block his path, whatever.
But don’t just watch said opposition player and let him run half the length of the pitch to nutmeg your keeper.

I know our club is a project (again). MP is the new gaffer, we have a lot of new players, team needs to gel and so forth…but we are talking about footballing basics here.

We have conceded more goals in the past two seasons than any other team in the league and our goal difference in that period has been utterly pathetic.
So far we still have to find a manager to sort out the mess at our back and I am confident MP can be that guy. I am also certain that once our offensive play improves the pressure on our defenders will ease up a bit, but we need to address our defensive frailty sharpish.

Two defeats from two games is a season start from hell and with the upcoming games not getting any easier we could soon find ourselves in back to the walls territory again, facing another uphill struggle straight away.

I don’t know an easy answer here, but then again MP and his coaching staff are paid very handsomely to find the right answers…and find them quickly.

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I will remain patient and yes, even confident for the time being. But we need a win of some kind soon if we don’t want the season being virtually over before it’s even properly begun.

A lot of work ahead for our boys and MP at Rush Green in the coming days, that’s for sure!

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The death of my Danish godmother didn’t come as a surprise. She was 94 years old and her health had been deteriorating for a few years already, sight and hearing fading, advancing stages of dementia, well, what do you expect at that age ? My Danish godmother Else had been around forever in my life.
She and her husband met my parents when they were visiting Denmark on holiday on their motorbike many years before I was even born.
My folks were still a young couple madly in love and they had married only a few years earlier.

In addition my parents had also fallen in love with our neighbouring country of Denmark and the wonderful people who lived there which meant that instead of spending our holidays in Italy or Spain like the other kids I went to Denmark every summer (and our Danish friends returned the visits and came to Hamburg regular like clockwork), we didn’t care much about politics and the European Union, my family in a very direct and personal way put the spirit of understanding among nations into practice time and time again.

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Those summers in Denmark were a massive part of my life, my youth, my childhood. My first visit to our home from home in that part of Denmark (Naesby Strand near Slagelse on the southwesterly coastline of Sjaelland) took place when I was just three months old.

A bit further down the road I took my first proper steps on the same Danish soil, trying to wobble my way to the nearby beach straight away (a small step for mankind, but a bloody tough ask for a toddler with short legs, small feet and a non-existent sense of direction).
My brother and I even were given Danish first names thanks to the Viking bug my parents had caught.

Summer in Denmark, that was bottles of ridiculously coloured lemonade (bright yellow, green or red), that one particular layer cream cake with apricot jam that only my godmother could do the right way, the famous Danish hotdogs containing them sausages with the bright red casing, Danish home cooking in general with the food tasting even better because you had just returned from swimming and fooling around in the Baltic Sea, breathing the salty sea air for hours, looking forward to another jolly round at the table with our adopted Scandinavian family because that’s the thing.

Our Danish and German families grew up and grew older together, with children and grandchildren arriving and joining our circle of friends and this band of friendship is one we continue to cherish and will continue to maintain.

One day when I kick the bucket I have no idea how many people will be present at my funeral, but I know for sure there will be at least one or two visitors from Denmark…

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So there was no question that my brother and I would pay our respects to the old Danish lady, even though we unfortunately couldn’t stay long as my sister in law couldn’t get more time off at short notice.

So we left Hamburg on Friday afternoon, driving for about four hours which meant I couldn’t watch the Concordia game (a wild 2:3 home defeat, remarkable for two Concordia players getting red-carded, plus the Cordi manager being ordered to go to the stands (for complaining to the ref) and Concordia also had to make all three substitutions in the first half due to injuries, inflicted by clashes of heads, with two players having to go straight to hospital in order to get their gaping cuts stitched).

We arrived at our Danish home from home early in the evening.
It’s remarkable how sights, sounds, smells and food can bring back your entire childhood within seconds. There it was again, the salty air.
The same old walk to the beach, some houses had been freshly painted and done up, but the walk still was the same.

That layer cake (done incredibly well by my godmother’s daughter in law) was Denmark on a plate, just as it always was and always will be.
Then there was the lovely and oh so familiar sound of the Danish language I had been hearing all me life.
The beach with the small fishing boats in various states of decay, in glorious view of the impressive Storebaelt bridge, the one we had been on half an hour earlier – it was all there just as in previous years, only my dear beloved godmother wasn’t there anymore to greet us.

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I cried buckets at the church service the next day because indeed an important part of my life was no more. I doubt my godmother in her advanced stage of dementia would have even recognized my face if we had met a few weeks before her death due to a fall in her shower cabin in a home for the elderly, but that’s not even the point.

It is just that my godmother always used to be the focal point of our time in Denmark, her meeting my parents all those years ago (more than 50 years ago actually), inviting them round for coffee in her garden, created this very special bond and if anything this bond has only become stronger with every new generation arriving, carrying on the torch, my nephew playing with my godmother’s great-grandson just a few months ago despite not sharing the same language.

You may think “Why does the Kraut keep on blabbering about this old Danish bat?”, but it was really one hell of an emotional weekend for me and it firmly put the West Ham game at the back of my mind which doesn’t happen that often as you can imagine. We were on our way back to Hamburg already when the game started.

Seeing us lose the first home game of the new season wasn’t nice of course, but the hours I had spent earlier put all of that very much into perspective.

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At least on Sunday I had reason to produce something resembling a smile again as Concordia U23s won their away game 3:1, despite playing about 55 minutes with only ten men. The game on the pitch was less entertaining though than the witty banter among the small but dedicated group of loyal Cordi fans present and it felt really good not having to watch the game on my own. I was wearing my #6 Bobby Moore West Ham shirt, in memory of my Danish godmother Else, God rest her soul!

She was not only my surrogate grandmother (as all my real grandparents were already gone when I was born), she was my personal Bobby Moore if you’re getting my drift. It was incredibly sad having to say a final “farvel” to her just now, but I am glad our small travelling contingent from Hamburg could be there in person to lay our wreath, cry our tears and pay our respects.

Tak for det hele Auntie Else! (Thanks for everything.)
RIP.

COYI!!!

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The HamburgHammer Column

We can work it out - a drubbing that doesn't hurt too much

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When we were discussing the upcoming Liverpool game and West Ham’s chances to get a result I maintained throughout that anything could happen, especially on Opening Day. Well, what happened was the drubbing that most pundits (and probably most of our own fans) had anticipated all along.
You hope against hope that you may catch the Scousers on a bad day at the office for them, you think maybe our new West Ham team will click instantly and nick another rare win at Anfield for us.

The cold hard truth is that Liverpool on normal form are a terrifyingly good side, skilled, ruthless, focussed and also, as much as it pains me to say it, a wonderful side to watch for any fan who loves the game of football and doesn’t hold a hatred (irrational or not) against Liverpool FC. I will say one thing about Liverpool though – and it’s really getting to me – and that is the love-in that Sky and the media are celebrating when it comes to covering Liverpool.

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Yes, they are a great footballing team (again, it took them a while to become one under Klopp), they are one of the best supported sides on the planet and it’s good they exist.
However, is it really necessary to overload the TV crews with (biased) former Liverpool players or self-proclaimed Liverpool fans ?
Is it necessary to completely ignore whichever team has the (mis)fortune of playing the Scousers on any given weekend and blabber away about Liverpool this and Liverpool that ?

One of Liverpool’s goals was CLEARLY scored from an offside position, yet that wrong refereeing call was laughed off by the commentators as Mane’s finishing was so brilliant. WTF ??? The goal didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, but that ain’t the point. I may be forced to find myself an internet stream with Chinese or Swedish commentary in future in order to avoid busting a blood vessel from getting riled up over punditry that is overly biased towards West Ham’s opponents.

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I won’t dwell too much on the game as most things have been properly discussed on the match thread and on David Hautzig’s article. Liverpool didn’t have a bad day at the office, they played like a well-drilled and oiled machine (or a solid old Volkswagen, as Klopp is managing them…LOL) and frankly we just didn’t get a sniff.
I believe Liverpool will give Man City a run for their money, one of these two teams will win the PL title at a canter and I would expect them to dish out plenty of drubbings along the way.

I still saw some positives in the game from our perspective which may sound odd after losing a game by a 0:4 scoreline. But I think there were, under the circumstances, some very decent performances and first glimpses at our new players. In my book Fredericks and Balbuena looked promising, same goes for Wilshere and Anderson.
And we didn’t even see Diop, Lucas Perez or Carlos Sanchez in action yet, not in a competitive game anyway.

We will not play Liverpool every weekend and indeed I would expect our team to play some great football this season against most other clubs in the league.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither was Liverpool under Klopp and I would just hope that West Ham fans don’t overreact after this game.
We need to be patient and if we are I am absolutely certain that Pellegrini will deliver over the course of the season.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly enjoying watching us lose 0:4 to anybody, but putting it in perspective I know we will see us play a lot better in far more games this season as compared to the previous one. Even in this drubbing I saw us passing the ball well at times, but it’s difficult against Liverpool as they keep the ball so well and don’t make a lot of mistakes you could pounce on.

We will all be a bit wiser after the upcoming home opener against Bournemouth. I’m sure Pellegrini will be busy this week in training, devising a gameplan and working the players so we will all hopefully be in for a treat next weekend. COYI!!!

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Hamburg football update, starting with Concordia whose first team got spanked 0:3 away at Teutonia 05 in Ottensen in Hamburg’s west, with me being one of several Cordi supporters who attended that game. Teutonia are widely tipped to finish the season as champions (they are loaded as they are getting sponsored by a Russian oil company), so it’s no shame to lose at their place. Unfortunately the Cordi boys were lacking in many departments yesterday, body language, running, general willingness to go into tackles and win balls. The Cordi U23s on the other hand won their home fixture by a ridiculous scoreline of 10:0. The young Cordi lads already look like they may be headed for a third successive promotion season.

As for the Hamburg heavyweights St.Pauli got the perfect start, winning their second game of the season as well, this time at home against Darmstadt.
And Hamburg SV managed to win back some pride and goodwill by winning their away game at Sandhausen 3:0, after suffering a defeat by the same scoreline the previous week against Kiel.

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