Nigel Kahn’s Column
NOTE FROM IAIN: The Predictor League for Manchester City on Saturday is now open HERE. Entries can be submitted until 10am on Saturday.
Thursday 15 Oct
Article Day and it seems my tongue in cheek christening of the signing of Brentford’s Said Benrahma as Ben-drahma seems to be quite prophetic. He had agreed on terms so now it was just his medical, a formality usually and then the club will knock up some useless video to justify employing too many people in the media department and he can be announced. But as the evening goes on, he is not announced. Now I won’t say panic set in, but over in Twitter land the West Ham natives were showing discontent and the usual conspiracy theories were starting to set it. Most involved it was a play by the owners to try to get him on the cheap. “Don’t worry “the lords of West Ham ITKs, we can go to bed, it will be announced in the morning.
Friday 16th Oct
Busy day at work, phone on silent. Stop around half twelve for a cup of tea, checked the phone, messages into the 30s. When one of my friends asked me the question, What is going with Benrahma I’m hearing he’s failed the medical. Now when he asks, that makes me think there is something it. A quick scan of messages and it seems all is not good, there is indeed a problem. Some it seems a small part of the medical has flagged something up, the deal is possibly in the balance. It’s possible as well, Josh King is having a medical as a back-up. There is plenty of ‘he says, she says’ going on but the situation was ever-changing and anyway, it was a busy day of work for me and it couldn’t stop just because a player may or may not now be signed.
1972, Frank Worthington signs for Liverpool, sitting at the desk with a pen in his hand, contract n table with a beaming Bill Shankly and his assistant Bob Paisley standing behind him. The Huddersfield Town star was joining the biggest club in the land. Only thing is, if you look at a list of Frank’s clubs he played for, Liverpool is not listed. The story goes that Frank was physically fit and passed 90% of the medical, the 1 problem was, he had high blood pressure. The cause? His off the field life with the ladies. Shanks still wanted his man, so off Frank goes to Mallorca to rest and recuperate before the next medical to finalise the deal. He gets back, Still, the blood pressure is high, and despite as the pic shows, he does not sign fully for Liverpool.
The reason I tell that is the reaction I found on Twitter to the possible collapse of the signing was off the scale. It seems to many it was a deliberate ploy by Dave Sullivan to keep the money for himself that the club banked from the Grady Dianganna transfer. That was just one of the borderline sane comments I saw, many were off the scale bonkers. I don’t get what it is about West Ham that turns sane normal people into a mentally deranged frothing at the teeth lunatics but it seems many on Twitter check their brain in for a rest when they log in and pick it up on the way out. The conspiracy theories are just wild, and that me being polite. I suppose the fact the I knew in advance Benrahma would be announced at 7 pm helped me not be so over-reactive, but even if I didn’t I can’t say I’d go ballistic if a player that failed a medical wasn’t signed. Due to the failed medical, the club changed the terms of the deal with Brentford, not in a dastardly fashion way the financials to Brentford remain the same, it was converted to a 1 season loan though to enable the further investigations of what caused the problem with a small part of the medical to fail.
Perhaps if Liverpool had done the same Frank Worthington may have joined them. Instead Frank flew off to Majorca, On the plane, he met a Swedish woman and with her mum. The legend goes he bed both of them and a few others while out there, On his return the 2nd medical was failed and instead of joining a club on the cusp of becoming a European giant, he joined Leicester.
Saturday 10th Oct
Another Saturday with no football, but at least this week it is only a 24-hour wait unlike last week when it was 8 days away. Hopefully, it will be worth the wait. Today’s social media story is the fact that The West Ham Way podcast is becoming pay per view/listen. There is a debate to be had as I understand why they have chosen the route they have, though I do have reservations. If you produce decent content that the public enjoys and are willing to pay for surely you should be rewarded for that, the flip side is that the West Ham way was built on being a free podcast, if they take that behind a paywall and don’t have anything free then some will feel disappointed. I won’t lie, I have wondered if I could make a living out of football (not playing, I’m not mad) I still have some ideas I may try but whether it would be good enough to be paid for that service, my-self doubt will always kick in.
Sunday 11th Oct
It is not often my wife is in the room when the football is on, but sitting there she was as the game kicked off. 45 seconds later we go 1 down, watching with me my daughter’s boyfriend Charlie sighed ‘that was quick’. I replied “45 seconds and the dream is over”. My wife looks up and utters, “Now you know how I feel”. 6 minutes later goal 2, after my expletives die down my wife then gets up to go “twice in 7 minutes’ I’ve never had that”. I was just glad she had gone by the 15th minute as the third goal went in, as the put down after that would have just added salt to the wound. I did remind the people in the group chat though that we did get 3 at Wembley when losing, that was when we were 2-0 down and I predicted a 3-2 win. But I have seen West Ham get out of tricky situations in the past so I try to always keep the faith. I turn to Twitter to remind the good folk of our 3 goal feet at Wembley and also the West Brom come back in 2010, after the Scott Parker Churchillian speech in the dressing room. I must admit that with 10 minutes to goal my urges of just 1 and its fun time didn’t seem to be realistic, but there is built into this club the ability to pull that rabbit out the hat as much as we have of then dropping the hat and the rabbit scampers away. When people ask me (non-WHU fans) why I go, I always say, it is hardly ever boring as you never know with us what will happen. Today is just evidence of that fact.
Monday 12th Oct
The morning news sports round up leads with Gareth Bale’s return to English football, the result and the game seems to be a secondary note. Quite how this ignored as a footnote in the morning report on Good Morning Britain I am not sure but then they are not known for the sports reporting ability. Calm is restored to Twitter land with the Benrahma saga finally over and the result still is celebrated what is there to complain about. We can just enjoy the videos of the Spurs Youtubers who just literally die in front of our eyes as they witness the last 10 minutes and Spurs doing what they do best, Bottle it. I don’t like saying that about Spurs actually as for me it diminishes our response in those 10 minutes + the 5 extra-time minutes to recover from 3 down. I don’t think they bottled it, I think the players believed they could do it once the first goal went in.
Tuesday 13th Oct
So it seems that the big picture document put together by Man United and Liverpool to restructure not just the Premier League but the EFL as well was not just an attempt at being a power grab, it was also a way of freeing them to be able to compete in a new European League apparently being put together by FIFA. It Seems FIFA want to bypass UEFA and have their own league running through the European domestic season with the 18 biggest clubs in Europe taking part. FIFA declined to comment (I bet they did) but Skys report online, was detailed to me to believe this is near enough down the line to being announced. As the league will run alongside the domestic leagues it would like the rest of the Premier League have nothing to fear, but If this league does start then it will start the demise of the power our domestic league has. The Premier League is around the world the biggest and most-watched of all the leagues, but if this league happens the TV companies, The sponsors and the cooperate users will be drawn by the possibility of the glamour games being nearly constant. It’s worrying as well that both our two biggest teams are American owners as they may prefer the American route of no relegation competition meaning only those invited can compete. In years to come if this league is allowed to happen then it will diminish our league, and possible signal the break up as I would imagine the ultimate goal is to play solely in this league possibly just leaving their reserve team to play out domestically.
Wednesday 14th Oct
A full day of work today so hope you enjoyed reading the article and see you all next week as we enjoy the defeat of Man City together.