The Jimmy Cooney Column

The Mood Savers, and the Culture of Priority

The Predictor League for Burnley is open. Enter your team HERE. Deadline is Saturday at 1pm.

Greetings.

I assume most of “Hammerdom” is quite satisfied with Monday night’s result, I am, quite, I’m a bit upset that I missed the match, albeit, during the goal, which was a work of splendid treachery and art, and, was one where I would definitely have noticed the absence of a crowd, especially for the Dawson goal (another assist for Bowen) and, me, even as THE top boy of the ICF, (Inner Couch Firm) :)) I agree, as Bowen said, is is what the FA Cup is all about, and as someone to not be able to claim an Away match, let alone an Away Cup Tie, up northwest, in January!

However, according to the extended highlights, I’ve seen, and accounts I’ve read, given the weather conditions, and Stockport really playing “hard to break down”, hence, another Yorkshire/Lancashire/Greater Manchester “banana peel” was successfully negotiated. (With at least one more to come! Hopefully 2)

Included in this list of reasons of missing the match, is making the mistake of not only being born 20 years too late, but apparently 3957 odd miles to the southwest, placing me in the “exclusion” club, ;)) there was no TV coverage here in my neck of the States to DVR, and even if I wasn’t busy, it would have no doubt been a headache finding a free stream, that doesn’t route through Russia.

I know there’s options, steaming ESPN plus wouldn’t accept my c.c., cos, well, I’m financially ruined, and my payment obviously hasn’t cleared!!! :)) and after the 2011-12 C’ship campaign, I picked up more viruses than I would have going maskless, condomnless, and sharing needles with everyone in the various dope dens and safe houses of iniquity under the “EL” Stations, along the “Market&Frankford Line” (yes the elevated trains and bars shown in “Rockys’” “I”, “V”, and “Rocky Balboa”) in the Kensington section of Philadelphia (it’s a far cry from the section in London called Kensington, I assure you). Add this to the fact that I’ve JUST started to take self tutorials on my new LT, and I’m a bit gun shy to try streaming just yet.

Even as technology savvy as someone in the Early 1980’s at best, “the years force a certain amount of wisdom upon you, whether you like it or not”. And my wisdom and knowledge is definitely improving….. I’m far from Yoda, but somewhere between “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” perhaps….. ;) , And in the case if my interest in English culture, as I’ve always had a curiosity of since I can remember.

However, every once in a while, topics of the little differences in our cultures pop up within our support base, and how we view things….. in particular, and the only one I cannot fully “agree with” for lack of better term is the notion of “I’d rather lose 5-4 and watch a complete cracker,than win 1-0 or 2-1”, a bit ugly,or scrappy, which would appear to mostly come from the English purists supporter, who was at least 5 years old at the time of the 1980 FA Cup finals. (Those I tend to very respectfully refer to as "The Old Guard, of which I am old enough to be a part of). I was 7 and remember VERY clearly in 1980, when the Phillies won the World Series against Kansas City Royals, the Eagles lost Super Bowl XV to the Oakland Raiders, The 76’ers lost the 1980-81 NBA Championship to the L.A. Lakers, and the 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers lost to the New York Islanders due to the fact that the deciding game six was marred by one of the most infamous blown official calls in NHL playoff history. With the game tied 1-1, the Islanders Butch Goring picked up a drop pass from New York left wing Clark Gillies which had clearly gone back over the Flyers’ defensive zone blue line into center ice. Linesman Leon Stickle waved the play as safe and Goring threaded a pass to right wing Duane Sutter who beat Philadelphia goalie Pete Peeters for a 2-1 New York lead. The Flyers argued vehemently to no avail. (Sound familiar to anyone? See why identify with y’all!?!?!) :))

I admit, years ago, while a “Patawan Learner”, to the now “Premier League” (who was Ronin, btw) :)) I had some difficulty grasping this concept at first, (as has the few people I’ve tried to convert, cos they don’t understand….) they understand “playoffs”, worst club gets the first “draft pick”, and some cash, etc, to keep parity, There is one “Big Prize” at the end called a Championship, 2 contests, regular season, playoffs, Champ final, is what spawns the American sports fan asks is "so….what is the “endgame in ‘soccer’?!?!” outside of the playoff system in place in the MLS) however, having been to football camps between 1980-86 and played until High School, I picked a lot up pretty damn quickly, I began to understand and appreciate the difference of financial reward, the points system, 2 Cups, and European and Champs League depending on your position in the top 5, (even if relegation made it harder to follow), over the years, it came clear rather quickly, and instead of confusing me, it intrigued me, and the loyalty in loss I found to be a very important lesson.

Let me be clear, I’m not saying there is ANY right or wrong in this, its just different perceptions and tastes, some think Antonio sucks, some think he’s our best player of the last 5 years. Some hate C.C. Some think he’s one of the most important players of the “’Teens”, I’m just pointing out a different mindsets, the vast difference in how 3 people, one with seats in the Bobby Moore lower, one with seats up in the “nosebleed” in the Booking stand, and one who watched on t.v., all view things from quite different angles, I’ve noticed. We all see things our own way. If this site doesn’t prove that, not sure what will! ;)

Where I agree, sadly, I don’t believe the modern game (i.e., owners, shareholders, and whatever corporate demons sent here by Belial…..[do not say its name out loud….. please trust me.]), to tack up these wonderful designed yearly kits, to cover them with billboards for gambling online, and seemingly, the next on-line stock trading firm destined for failure, and yes, adverts for “tyres”…. (its "tires, y’all) :)) etc…..

It’s a bloody shame that not everyone finds the same potential magic that most of those who who PAY to have hope, travel, and brave weather only U.S. Spec Forces, British SAS, U.S. Navy SEALS, Royal or U.S. Marines train in, and now, just hoping the match goes on due to a worsening Global Pandemic.

The FA Cup, as I remember the waning mentality that the FA Cup is an even more important work of Silver than the Top Flight Championship has been on for some time. (In spite of the fact that only 8 clubs who were not in the top flight, both Divisions and PL era, have ever won the FA Cup, our beloved Hammers being the last, in 1980 and all 8 clubs were no lower than the 2 tier).

However, there is something very special and unique about the FA Cup and even as an American, as a matter of fact ESPECIALLY cos I’m American, and I guess I just wished it was more the “great equalizer” It once had been, with little dynasties here and there, but a variety of clubs winning, and getting to quarter and semi finals, still, I find it special BECAUSE of football’s quintessential English qualities, not in spite of them. Admittedly, the FA Cup Ties in the Divisions era definitely had more potential for “Giant Slaying” and showed such in ties all through the rounds. However, I’d be “over the moon” if we could buck that trend front the first time since Wigan won in ’12 (got relegated, but won the Cup!!!) So, there still is some magic……

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Now back to our current form and style of play, Of course, I’d rather watch more fluid games, especially ones where we score more goals, some sitters from Haller, and Fornals could have us in the European conversation right now, however, with the come from behind/no one thought we had a chance at anything, draws and wins being included with this statement, I’d rather grind out a 1-0, 2-1 win (mostly cos I really respect good defensive play a lot more than the “glitter”), then be “let down” by an 9 goal emotional rollercoaster ride where West Ham comes out on the short end, I mean, between West Ham, the Philadelphia Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, where victory, and further advancement and success, that I witnessed and can remember any number of historical events since 1978, literally snatched from the jaws of victory, on multiple occasions from all clubs, which doesn’t kill my loyalty, but it puts me in a foul humor until the next fixture, game, match, etc……

I’ve been around long enough to have learned to respect and actually celebrate good score draws, (Tottenham, away in October, anyone?) :) and will give credit during a good hard fought 5-4 loss on occasion, if we left it all out there, and, we are in good shape, however, it’s still a loss, therefore, 2-4 of those a season, cool, but 10??? Nonsense. The game is played to be won.

This being said, the whole year is a marathon, not a sprint. Of which, I find the “chess” aspect of English football a lot more intriguing at this point in my life than I do the COMPLETE BLOODY 3 RING CIRCUS that the NFL has been since the Mid to late 1990’s

O.K. on to the striker issues, it’s a good thing we have a bunch of flying defensive Iron, picking up the slack as far as finishing, and Soucek to be pulling out these great match winning assaults, and performances, however our striker (singular), is wonderful, albeit as he ages, I don’t see the hamstring issue improving, therefore we can train Benny to be the “Fox in the Box” in a 3-5-2 with he and Antonio, Bowen or Yarmo up front, meanwhile, we find the suitable striker to see us to at least a top 10 finish and a Cup win. I think it’s more likely than us finishing any higher than 8th, unless once we reach Liverpool or Manchester United (every year, it seems, if we make it to the 5th round, we draw either one of the Manchester’s or Liverpool, or am I mad?) I suppose the good news is if we beat the Satan Worshipers, or LiVARpool, the Cup shall be ours.

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However , I’m not saying that we don’t need one or two strikers, and I do fear no signings will be made, of which there’s only one I’m staunchly opposed to signing and that is Marko Arnautovic, I’m sorry, I don’t want to see the balance of this squad thrown off.

Well, this is where I kind of check out, and let the discussions about whether or not we need a LB, DMF, and Striker, or in my opinion, a DMF and a “cold weather striker” (who, I leave that to the ITK’s in our tribe, to guess, debate, and criticize what ever choice is made), cos, from what I’ve read, REALISTICALLY if we even have the cabbage to buy King, who’s probably the most realistic option, to cover for Antonio when he has his “Festive Fixture” Time 2-4 months off, I’m not holding my breath for any sensational signings, hopefully, at least one or two offensive move are made, with a CMF’er as a bonus, so long as it doesn’t mess with the “Esprit de Corps” that is this sides biggest advantage right now.

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I think the defense is pretty squared away, and, is slightly deeper than the attack (now that WHOMEVER, decided it would a a good idea to get rid of 2 attacking players, without having at least ONE on the grill was smoking crystal meth, unless there’s a plan that “Slick Moyes” has up his sleeve……) :)) Besides, all the goals, as I’ve said, seem to be coming from the defensive players, and we rule the set piece. However, the former anomaly of defenders carrying the lions share of the scoring, will not continue.

Of course, a slick move for a solid striker could mean bigger things for this club this season, during a time in history, especially, where literally one of the only things keeping me in something that resembles a good mood, is that West Ham United F.C. has become quite the formidable club, whether you like the gaffer, style or players or not.

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LOVE YOU ALL

COYI

Jimmy


The Jimmy Cooney Column

"Just Say No To Arnie!" (or, "My First Real Disagreement With "The Moysiah")

Greetings;

I first need to address the rumor about Marko “Scissorhands” Arnautovic, coming back, or if you prefer “Freddy Kruger” Arnautovic? …… this isn’t a joking matter….. silly season or not…. “Et Tu, Moysie?” (Best I could do)…. :))

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I’m not even gonna accept “pragmatism”, as an excuse to consider bringing back that poisonous snake into the boot room of one of the most unified teams this club has seen in the PL era, with perhaps 3 exceptions that I could maybe think of…… sure, he scored goals for us….. when he could be bothered, or not banned for elbowing the WRONG player in retaliation for an elbowing incident. Then, he comes back, wins most of us over, however, my goodness, the issues he created where there were none made a bunch of rich kids who spread falsehoods for kicks look like a bunch of adults.

Before I go too far, and become more misunderstood than I already am, ;)) folks….. this is part a comedy, part cautionary message for us to let him (Arnie) stay in China, please? (This, I am serious about). I am finally at odds with David Moyes about something, however, taking out how I feel as a supporter, and if I truly trust in Moyes, I should give it a chance, because, I could always be wrong, however, in this particular situation, I just don’t think he brings the right mindset, he’s been out of the PL for 2 years, and, as far as loyalty, of course, I know it’s not 1975 anymore, but the man is shady, to say the least.

When one pairs this with the fact that we have needed multiple strikers since Jesus was caught cuttin’ school with Pontius Pilate (look for the clever motif, you literary, and punctuation critics…..) ;)) we need a striker/s who can stay fit from Nov-March. (I Love Antonio, but his hamstrings are gonna just get worse as he ages, it seems like once November hits, it’s a matter of time before he needs some rest, and Arnie would be perfect, if he wasn’t such a disruption.

I guess I wish we would just look younger, and it’s stuff like this that gets folks all worked up, and, in unnecessary arguments with their fellow brothers and sisters in Iron, because, no doubt, some would probably take him back, especially those with more Machiavellian tendencies thinking that the “ends would justify the means…..” well the “end” in this case would be the annihilation of the harmony and morale amongst the current troops who ALL are trying to do their best for the gaffer and the Crest.

I wish I could verify that it’s “hard to believe”, even after the “knifing” that Arnie gave everyone who gives a hang about West Ham United, that folks would take him back. I’d rather roll the dice with another Championship top scorer, try to teach Holland how to be a CF, or for the short term, hang in there with Haller, at least Haller is a stand up fella, and, he may, just MAY be better in the Cup ties, (which, if we get as far as the quarters or semis and he’s a factor, he’s worth more in the summer, no? Add all this that with the fact that goals do come from all over the pitch, especially from Soucek) there’s no need for such extremism!! :-)

Seriously, folks, throwing him into this tight knit squad would only pull it loose, however, where I’m most surprised, and only is even giving it a chance, is Moyes, cos so far, he’s done right by the club. The difference, is Marko did not.

You see, I could care less where Arnie is, I tend to write off those who stab me in the back, sometimes in disturbing ways…. and, I do loathe the waste of skin. A pure sociopath whose competition for a signature that summer I believe was either Traore, or maybe Bats???

(Daz, you know everything about everything……. who could we have bought who’d have brought as much production as Arnautovic, yet may still be here due to better character?….. I’m sure you have an opinion???) ;)) Seriously, who or where else could we have spent the Marko cash, and done just as well, if not better, without his psycho drama. (I’m a prat, Nigel?) ;))

Now, with the hope that another full time shutdown can be averted, Moyes comes to his senses, and the more I edit, the more I realize I should let you go on about who the best 20 we should take back up to, yes Greater Manchester!!! (it’s been either there or Yorkshire lately) to take on Stockport.

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I’d like to think that with enough rest, and enough players showing promise as good starters, and good super subs, we can field a solid squad to take, with the perfect mix of vets, soldiers and youth…. AND, come back to see out the rest of the first half of the campaign with 6 pts outta 2 from Burnley and Brom?!?! I mean, I know about the banana peels, and, I try to NEVER underestimate ANYONE, however, this year, based on all there’s overall team performances? I’d would HOPE for 3 wins on the trot in the league and 6 unbeaten in all comps between our come from behind point against B&HA (they linger like a rotten “Ruby Murray” fart, don’t they?) :)) , A solid nights work on the clean sheet, score-draw from St Mary’s, a very nice win at Goodison, and so on……

(However, this is the top flight, I’d not be surprised with only 2, 3, or 4 pts, especially if any sort of crazy talk is let loose upon the club.)

Look at the official site, which, of course, isn’t the true thermometer, all the time, but how could we be anything but relatively happy right now? Everyone is talking positive, things could always be better, however, It’s not desperate enough to consider Arnie!

Plus, I’m am nervous about sacrificing a very potentially great player in Diop to make the wage, and, with the now “hard to argue” fact that if Haller, is not going to work, why stay? However, what could we get for him now? Then, there is the whole Benny issues, And, still….. the rumors of Arnautovic…….. send chills…….

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I mean, we can’t always see the knife attack coming, but this would be like inviting a demon into your house, after he home invaded you, did the whole “9” and, “well, he said he wouldn’t pillage and murder my family in front of me, while stealing our souls to be his slaves for eternity, why not?!?!?!”

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Where I am of the general consensus that it’s just not working for Seb at West Ham United, giving him the “bums rush” in order to hustle Arnie back would ruin all of the hard work these lads, the gaffer, and the coach staff have toiled so hard for, and would do much less damage than leaving things as is.

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So, over to some smiles here, I was OVER THE MOON!!!!! with our win over Everton at Goodison! I’d also like to catch up a bit here, I was thrilled to see Dawud’s photos back on display, David’s always great review, Hamburg, (my favorite columnist, tbh, honestly) And Gav, agree 100% about Manu and Yarmo hopefully accepting the super sub role, (everyone can play an important role). Everybody “done good” ;))

So, once again, I beg pardon for not checking in with the good folks of WHTID in a few…. I’ve been busy trying to make some kind of living, (no need to take an hour to read my problems today, but my God….. I suggest we chill with the 2020 jokes until we see how ’21 shakes out…..believe me…. it can always get worse….),

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bJuDD93JbOw

Anyways….. enough of my “sub par writing”, ;)) There’s plenty to talk about with a huge cup tie upcoming, and who we could REALLY bring in as a CF without destroying the morale, cohesion, and losing a potentially world class CB to fix a problem that could be better addressed in the summer?

I’d like to see who you perceive to be best choice for Stockport. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a few photos reminding those what good unity there is in the club right now.

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Love You All!!

COYI!!!!

Jimmy


The Jimmy Cooney Column

Harder Times, (However, No Reason to Panic).

Greetings all;

Well, I hope everyone had/is having a great holiday/s. And, as they continue, I must admit, It’s definitely been a strange one, for all, I’m sure. Due to having to keep gatherings small, I suppose the season has been stretched out for all, like it has me, having to come and go various places, but, mostly not going anywhere at all. It’s been either an old fashioned phone call, or now, video chats connecting us to our loved ones over one of the strangest periods I’ve seen in almost a half century of being “somewhat sentient” However, I hope we all took in something new, or maybe you rediscovered an old hobby that you enjoyed, and it’s not over yet! New Years Eve! I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see the ass end of 2020. However, if you gather, do so safely, and enjoy, I’ve been done with New Years Eve since the end of 2001, I was running around the streets of Dublin a year earlier for the Millennium, and site that as my last “good” wild NYE, the rest, you can read in my biography one day ;)) I still had a lot of hope back in 2000………

As different as it all has been, that had not changed also a very busy time for our beloved Hammers, where the lack of depth, and long term effects of the matches being played are no doubt taking their toll, (I’m finally starting to notice my own sanity slipping a bit, and I was never on firm ground to begin with) :)) however, it would be hard to “critique” the manager or squad any further than the match report by David have already pointed out, for, there truly is only the “grind” to moan about, the injuries and fatigue are a drag, and all in all, David Moyes’ Claret & Blue Army is weathering the cold and the crunch, “very acceptably”. These guys are knackered and still doin ok.

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I gotta be honest, I got the hump after Brighton. I’d REALLY would have liked to have shaken that bloody Top Flight bogey that B&HA got dancin’ on our heads so long, busted, but, once again they came out looking pretty good for a club that are 2pts off the drop, I wouldn’t say they looked like League beaters, but the “pack a lunch” when they see us on their fixture list….. OR like last year, up 3-1,with less that 15 plus stoppage to go and we dropped 2pts!!!

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O.k., now that being said, I shall say again that in August, I’d have snapped a hand and a big toe off to be where we are now, and we are not losing matches, we even came back to take 2 and save a point from the Gulls’ dirty beaks with the thanks to a homegrown youngster in Ben Johnson, and once thing’s level off, we still have strong enough players in Snodgrass, Yarmo, and Lanzini to grind out wins, perhaps from the bench.

Benny and Mikey made an immediate impact, during Southampton, and where Moyes went too conservative against the Gulls, he went after this after a tepid first half, of which both clubs were due their 0-0 status.

Fornals, Bowen, and Benrahma WILL be rewarded for all their hard work………once a fully fit Mikey Antonio gets back to full stride, I can’t WAIT to see what those 4 can put together, while you still have the “Hackney Heavies” carrying a good share of the of the goals!

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I suppose this is one of the things I like about Moyes, he’s gonna speak his mind, but he’s going to do it with a level of maturity, which comes of more “matter of fact” than protest. (The man is not an idiot), he handles the media pretty savvy like, gotta say, and he’s killing my predictor!

Moyes is tinkering a little bit, but he has to, an I think he’s got the picture of who needs to go stay maybe accept bench roles, y’all got the picture, I got the picture……

I will totally admit, for my more curmudgeonly fans, the ball has been BRUTAL to watch, especially most of the first halves, and until about 70’ when the changes are made. It’s been ugly, but this is rotation time, it has to be done, and so far, we are ok.

Another issue may be one that the “footie God’s” control, and that’s the “Rub o’ the Green” that we were getting early on, one must admit, it was a earned over a few years of unbalanced law and order, but we were getting out due, also the “Bounce” that was taking to our favor, within a few mins, its on Rice’s foot and Antonio is already getting in behind with Masu and Cresswell whipping in great crosses.

However, just but a month ago, that rub or bounce has seemed not to have shifted the opposite way, per se, but it’s definitely went neutral, we were dripping in chances for a moderately sweet spell, now are coming few and far between, the build up play is less fluid than up to say, Villa, where, was one of those nights where it seemed some karma was coming back around for things from last season, VAR actually going out way for a spell, well, we’ve entered a tough spell, where things aren’t bouncing into the goal, not getting as many 50/50’s and without turning this into a Haller “boot party” my goodness…..the giveaways, man….However everyone seems to have their chins up and any anger or discontent is with the forces outside the club that are not having an impact on this very tight squad.

However, I’m not complaining. Really, Southampton had an off nite offensively, but they were top notch defensively, I’m pointing out facts, that, to be quite honest, I don’t need to explain, I know who I agree with, mostly have already discussed them, and once again, aside from keeping a chin up when its not all that easy, and always trying to keep a winning attitude, I think that overall, I tend to agree with the truly knowledgeable here who are, for the the most part, the majority of regular members here. The top boys and girls are the most loyal and educated football supporters possibly in the the world, probably in England, and most definitely in London.

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That’s why, I’m gonna change it around and talk about my HOTY so far this season, (and unless our offense gets a rejump, and one of our attacking players ends up with more than 15 League goals), he will remain my HOTY, and that is Angelo Ogbonna.

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I think even then, he may get my vote. Defense is not appreciated nearly enough anymore, one thing that even I know and understand! ;)

The man is holding together the central, (and whole defense, if you ask me). He and Rice whipped Dawson into shape today (29/12/2020 Saints 0, West Ham United 0,) who twice could have been the goat of the game, (Dawson, that is), his one goof definitely shoulda been a goal, however a touch of the “rub”, returned for a moment, and Dawson grew into a solid second half performance, (just don’t let him [Dawson] on the ball all that long….) :)) seriously, he appears to still be great at defending, and attacking set pieces, and isn’t afraid to get his body in, perhaps not as much a folly as some thought…..although, on one performance does not make a season, and this talk of selling Diop for new striker money just seems a bit excessive, sorry, I now I’m gonna hear it from some mates but there are ways around it, and sell Haller in the summer (cos he apparently won’t move in the winter) anyways, a topic for another day, that will probably be today, but that’s o.k.! Until then, I will rave about Oggy here!!!

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(Mitrovic foolishly trying to get a reaction out of a cool headed, and wise CB who, would have made short, short work of that mug)

Oggy has been stalwart, and aside from a few small mental errors, the fatigue, and wear doesn’t seem to be getting to Ogbonna as much as it has some of the other players.

Oggy is in on almost every block, keeps that 4 man cage in form, and is never one to pull out of a tackle, he’s strong, smart, and as I’ve said, is bossing the backfield in most situations. When everyone else seems to look around and find that the shape looks like an amoeba, he flies into the gap first.

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Now before I go, and start preparing for Everton, away (Oi Gevalt). One more honorable mention, and bit of advice for Pablo Fornals, he is non stop, he is box to box still and aside from maybe trying to being a bit more selfish (today was not the first match were had he struck it first time, he coulda scored, or been on target at least), the second time, he had viable options to try to cross into Bowen, but today, we weren’t getting too much mustard on the ball, but I see nothing but improvement over the long haul.

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Well, need not say too much more, were already talking about who should start at Goodison, which, hasn’t been super happy fun hunting, but two large wins in the last 5 years there, if the last 3 fixtures were adjustment, I could see Moyes going for this one, then again, personally, I’d not mind him playing it safe, and making sure we field a winner for Stockport…..cos, c’mon, now, y’all remember the “Banana Splits”? :))

For real, We can make a Cup run and finish top 10,

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Having seen Iain and Russel’s latest updates, I know that the format is going to change (I’m not sure how much), so I really don’t know anything other than they are working hard to get it done, and of course, I’d like to keep my column, but completely understand if a whole new direction is being taken, of course which sounds like a different column and comment format will be implemented, at least, and if this happens to be my last column, I just want to say it’s been an honor and privilege, and honestly, I believe along with the anxiety and not always really feel like rehashing stuff like “Pogbas bad goal”, its actually been a important learning experience for me, and for all those who have encouraged me, and had my back, I am much obliged :-)

Love You All

COYI

Jimmy


The Jimmy Cooney Column

Trying to Keep It All In Perspective

Well enough time has past, and I’ve fully processed the Chelsea match, weathered some tragedy, and major catastrophes, on a daily basis for about 2 weeks, now, however, so I won’t get labeled a “drama queen” by my “bestie”, I won’t get into it, and to Tom, I beg your pardon, I did just see your complements, and I appreciate them very much, so, David Murray, and I think Collie may have noticed I have been not in the chat as much, so that’s where I’ve been. I’m trying to roll with it, however still need to vent about the Chelsea match a bit.

At first, I thought we’d lose, (by a much closer margin, of course) I woulda been chill with a draw, and a win??? I think quite a few in similar chaos in their lives which is everyone REALLY coulda really helped get us through an already upside down, Holiday season, so I did horrible on my selections and changed an original losing scoreline in the name of “being positive!” :))

The morning of the match was a headache when it came to figuring out who was gonna play. I saw that Masu and Antonio were a no go (anticipated), Balbuena was not quite ready (false, Moyes was all shady about that one, and he was not at all the reason we lost) and, with all the injuries, I had no idea who would be best to put up against a Chelsea side that is playable, but when they are on, forget it, I think old Frank holds a grudge, he’s gonna like beatin’ us, I think.

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They got in quick, but we responded well, and I don’t think we played that bad between 25’ and 76’ mins, we responded well, just like Nobes said and came close to a few good chances, there was more offside controversy, especially with Bowens goal, it was really disappointing. Then other than that, they just couldn’t set up a finish, on target, cos while they are beatable, when they are on, forget it. Chelsea are top 4. With that, I have forgiven Jr, as it appears he still hasn’t quite forgiven us, maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I really wanted him to stay, and I generally think the whole thing was a shame, however, one thing y’all cockneys have taught me, or more accurately, reinforced, is to have a thick skin. As a matter of fact, almost don’t give a t#ss about things I probably should now, and I am actually learning the art of getting happy when I’m angry, which is always better that feeling hopeless, plus, I am a pretty miserable bar steward to begin with….. so “Cheers, muckers!”

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=HhR6+3gd&id=1057534E617970FF4E4733712A0ACAD51EAD4A97&thid=OIP.HhR6-3gdpqVx3KezKQi5VAHaJq&mediaurl=https%3A%2F%2Fmain-designyoutrust.netdna-ssl.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2013%2F10%2FLondon-Calling-Album-Cover-Pennie-Smith.jpg%3Fiv%3D110&exph=1120&expw=858&q=getty+images+london+calling+album+cover&simid=608009667057550660&ck=2A5945EB1CE05F44C2334B38D63DA749&selectedindex=0&form=EX0023&adlt=off&shtp=GetUrl&shid=f34d23c7-efc2-4433-9837-7f8415e56a5e&shtk=TG9uZG9uIENhbGxpbmcgQWxidW0gQ292ZXIgUGVubmllIFNtaXRo&shdk=Rm91bmQgb24gQmluZyBmcm9tIGRlc2lnbnlvdXRydXN0LmNvbQ%3D%3D&shhk=i0sLkszPHwLg%2BNkNcwHbHTGWUih7yXc6HkeJjGyLHts%3D&shth=OSH.94ZBh7s08%252BVIolVgfyAvJw

Not that I didn’t know from anger, already, and I wanna take a few geezers to task about slagging off Cresswell so much. Has he responsible for a few goals? Sure, responsible for relegation scraps? Absolutely not, However now that Alves has been acquired, and Masu will be back, the man can see out his contract in the LCH, LWB, or impact sub role, just not a flat four, and WHO KNOWS???? Maybe Alves is the “Antonio of LB’s” in loyalty, heart and skill, sans the yearly injury issues. Those 3 in tandem, working out for the next 2 years would be a wonderful thing. If it happens, remains to be seen, but Cresswell has reached “legend” status for me, in PL terms, he’s an “old head”.

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Just a random thought here, but how come the likes of Salah, Kane, De Bruyne or especially Grealish, right? Disgrace to all who get injured by REAL cheap shots, but doesn’t it just seem like any of the other top players are rarely injured?? Kane especially, I’m not saying there is that huge a conspiracy, but along with the protection the refs provide them, could Kane’s genetics be in such a fashion that makes him less injury prone than Antonio, who, if was fit 80% of the time, much like Andy Carroll, we are definitely top 5 by now. Not that I wish injury to anyone (even Grealish) but with West Ham it’s almost a bloody tradition, ( it could say something about how the “glamour boys” of the league get special protection) just like that little bitch, Grealish…… his play acting is getting even more obscene, and instead of the simulation law being used (does that only exist when someone from West Ham does it? Cos I don’t think I’ve seen it used since), these wimps get treated like the Prince of Saudi Arabia, whilst the refs let clubs kick us up and down the f#ckin’ pitch, and just “look away, look away…..” bunch of cowards is what they are.

Meanwhile, ol’ Haller just can’t get the love…. He’s all alone, and I’m not sure at this point, it’s not his own doing at this point….yes, he could be a really cool dude and I’m NOT saying he’s not a quality footballer, I’m not slagging him off as a person, but I’m now going to critique his overall performance, and don’t give a flying f#ck, cos I’ve been cheering, defending, and waiting for him to finally explode, especially after his goal against Palace, but I gotta be honest, he looked off sync, disinterested, had poor box positioning, and the giveaways, again. But the most disturbing thing to watch is him getting bullied off the ball by guys half his height and even less than half his weight, even if they are “Chelsea”…..yet one remaining positive that l see, is that he draws attention from their defense.

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However, can we afford to alienate him just yet? Cos as much of a Hammer and top player that Antonio is, Antonio has spent a good 1/3rd of the last 4 seasons out, or ineffective due to lack of match fitness cos he’s put in a 4-2-3-1 for the 6, or 7 matches, left to hold it up, and hold it down, as a lone striker, who may even score 6 goals, however, just as we’ve won 2 or 3 on the trot, we come to find an hour before the next match, Antonio has pulled a hammy, and then no" Antonio for 2 months", and the more chances they take with him, the longer he is out.

Now don’t even try to get me wrong, I love Mikey, he’s a Hammer thru & thru, but, He’s gonna need some help, either with a strike partner, or just simply someone good enough to rotate with every few matches. I know this isn’t possible at the moment. Perhaps Moyes can find next young Antonio without hamstring issues, or hell, why not try Bowen and Benrahma? Or START Yarmo with the understanding that he will be subbed at HT….. or here’s a thought….. Perhaps it’s time that we tried two strikers, ala, 3-5-2? (That looks like a 5-4-1 on the front foot, to me). Or perhaps POTENTIALLY filling the needs at LB with Alves, the other signing would be a striker (I’m not even going to get greedy, at this point). Could be just enough to see us top 8.

Well, back to my personal version of the “New Reality” that is ripping mine, and I’d imagine most families we all know to shreds. I guess I not need discuss how important it is to beat B&HA, it’s not a critical win for survival, but it carries a different weigh, it’s important in a doctrinal way, for The Gulls have had our # since they came up a few years ago now, and given our last 5 from, we are going to need the points. I know this all comes off slightly morose, but don’t get the wrong impression, this team is one thing I actually still have a modicum of faith in. So, to end on a more mellow note…….

HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE! I LOVE YOU ALL!

COYI

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntbni0Dxgpw

Jimmy

*P.S. there is a good interview with Noble from Wednesday, I’d try to embed it, but by the time this is seen, it will probably have been seen by everyone, and will be concentrated on The Gulls coming up on Sunday afternoon, of which I think I have mentioned above.

I also would like to wish each and everyone of you the best of Holidays as possible, check out the you tube tune I tried to embed, it’s a rare and priceless Xmas song performance by a hybrid of two of the best bands of the late 1970’s*


The Jimmy Cooney Column

Trials, Tribulations, Ups, & Downs, However, it's Generally Better, All Around.

Greetings!

So, it has begun, the Holiday crunch, thick and fast, no let up, the time of the season that tries even the deepest of clubs, and can leave the most cunning of managers looking puzzled, confused, and sometimes embarrassed (the last one is rare, however, for most pro managers have to be born without an “embarrassment chip”, and if they were, damned if they will show it). :-))

And, as we enter our first holiday season cycle post-COVID, when everything else is so weird, and in a lot of cases sad, those of us who support West Ham United have a bit of pre holiday cheer. We are currently enjoying some of the best football West Ham has played since the quick return to the top flight in 2012. This is bloody fantastic! These guys give it their all!

Now, to calm myself and keep perspective, for “the machine” is far from flawless, as our last match against Palace, who I’ve been calling a bogey club since way before Moyes said it!!! :-))

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Just as importantly, they are buying into the gaffer and coaching staff, there’s a general air of “it’s us against the world”, which you can see manifests itself with Moyes, when he says that he’s not gonna let West Ham get pushed around, I believe him! (Speaking in the post match presser done by the official site, he [Moyes] sees what’s going on and he’s not gonna take it). I’d like to now add a link from the “Official West Ham website” (hey, I wrote this to be in before the Palace Match, some adjustment was definitely needed, but I like this interview):
https://www.whufc.com/news/articles/2020/december/11-december/david-moyes-i-have-say-players-did-brilliant-job-leeds

This interview was the inspiration my original title, “Cant Push West Ham Around No More!” and, now, since this is being published “post Palace” this part the article is smaller, yet no less important, besides, its nice to know I’m not so mad that I’m making up these selective enforcement incidents in my warped brain to blunt cutting disappointments like the Man U match, plus countless others, especially coming from Moyes, who was once (in my estimation) a formidable foe as the gaffer for that bogiest of bogey clubs for WHUF.C. (it’s even their fault we didn’t win the top flight in ‘86 if I’m not mistaken), in Everton. It’s part of the reason why I wanted him as manager even before Bilic. Did they win anything? No, however, could they whoop anyone on any day and end up finishing no lower that 10th? Yes. That is the next step.

You see, I enjoy fluid football, however, as long as we are winning, it can be a bit “ugly”, as well, as matter of fact, it’s one sport when I want my team to have it done and dusted by HT, not cos I’m much more entertaining when I was drunk and HAPPY, (not that I’m a violent drunk, or even need to be drunk), but, either sober or soaked, I’ve been so angry without saying anything that I can change the mood in a room from “festive” to “funeral” quicker than putting on “The Ballad of the Edmund Fitzgerald” can kill the groove of a good, old fashioned “hip-hop” house party! A close match is much better when the point or points are saved or protected, (or, your a neutral watching two other clubs that you don’t have any skin in) but when it goes the other way, that’s when I think stuff like (gee whiz, I would much rather have seen West Ham up 5-0 by halftime…..) And as far as “attractive” football goes….. attractive to me is a score “Win” for West Ham, I understand, however, I reserve words like “attractive” and “sexy” for another topic. ;) I like exciting matches, like the Championship Playoff from 2012 was GREAT! (Because RVT just about put the ball through the roof of the onion sack at 89’ and held on from there, or Winston Reid, heading home the winner against the “Satan Worshipers”…… on that most bittersweet night of nights, forget it, that’s what I’m calling Manchester United anymore……they are just about…..) This all being said, isn’t this “attractive” football in it own way? (Abstract thought, at the very least……..),

In my revised version of this, we have since played Palace in a pretty flat performance in the first, lucky to not be down 0-3, Haller at 58’ odd mins finally scored that spectacular goal, after a Lanzini substitution for Fornals brought some limited industry to the #10 area, and sparked a better second half, as one of the two major issues that happens when you put out basically the same XI since Sept, the wear is beginning to show, our own turf may have claimed our remaining bone fide 1st Team LB in Cresswell, the other is, other clubs figure you out.

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I know, I’m regressing in subject matter a bit, and to some it may sound silly, however, quite frankly, I am delighted to see that a manager is calling the establishment out for all its little “faux pas” with the calls and the VAR, selective enforcement, and their little “opps, guess we forgot to look at that, cos the ‘Amazing’ Pogba scores a good lookin’ goal”, off another case of bad officiating, ( meanwhile, here’s a guy in Pogba, who is verbally trashing Manchester United, while happily cashing those checks they are writing him). They (the law) can’t see a ball go out of bounds 6 feet in the air on a curl back, but they take time out of the match to notice that on a penalty, where the keeper, who is already at every disadvantage, his heal is one inch off the goal line? Really? Super Slav did it as well, along with Pards, as a matter of fact, they all do to a degree, (except Grant…. Tbh, I don’t remember him saying too much of anything…..perhaps I stopped listening at some point out of self preservation) However Moyes seems to actually be seeing it though the same “lense” so to speak, as we (the support) are seeing the way this group of clowns use VAR to not level the field, but as another tool to aid the big clubs in red and blue, And like him, (Moyes) or it or not, we ARE playing “good looking” football, and are top 6 at the moment. As far as football in England for me? All is well.

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This will bring me to Haller, who, I guarantee won’t take up too much of our time, cos everyone has their minds made up (for the most part).

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Just keep tryin’ big guy, hopefully, with a few needed changes just for fitness and endurance sake, this is the beginning of SEB’S run of 4 goals in 5 matches or just being integral in the 7 pts I HOPE we can pull out of the next 3, Chelsea, Away- B&HA, Home,-and Southampton, Away, as this is a POSSIBLE, feat…. however, it’s gonna be a tough one, (as it has been all season) with Chelsea, Away, being Chelsea Away…. B&HA a top bogey club since they have been up….. and Southampton, who, we’ve been a bogey to, however, are as good, of not better, overall as us this season, I don’t expect to pull another double over them, I hope I’m wrong.

As I see our current XI that has brought us this far, start to fall to knocks, niggles, and fatigue, Moyes might want to think about some contingencies with the talent that is on the bench, perhaps it’s time for another pair of fresh legs in Lanzini as a starter? IDK, I’m prepared just by nature to brace for a poor form of run right about now……….

We should be ok, This is a whole different squad, with a whole different mission, and a whole different mindset, who are capable of beating anyone on any day, anywhere. However, as Hodge and Palace showed us, can be slowed by a solid defense, and potent attackers, All I can say at this point, is long may this overall form for West Ham United F.C. continue, cos the cold days are coming back, were all fighting to keep it together in this mad world getting madder, and West Ham in the top 4 the first week of 2021 could help with the whole “hope” thing……

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Love You All

COYI!!! ‘><’

Jimmy


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