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West Ham United
April 27, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 04/27/2009

I know from emails that I receive - and I don't mean the ones offering viagra or penis extensions - that a lot of you are not UK based and have come to football only since Year Zero, when the Pol Pot of the FA came up with that brilliant concept of the Premiership.

Many of you, therefore, will be unaware of 'The Big Match', the flagship ITV equivalent of 'Match of the Day' from the Seventies that used to show about 2pm on Sunday afternoons in the UK; just after you'd returned from your 10 - 0 thrashing on Wansted Flats (what?....oh... Only me then..) and an hour before you passed out in a lunchtime post match stupor over your roast potatoes, cooked for you, of course, by your hot-panted girlfriend with a bubble perm. (what?...oh...Only me again then...)

April 26, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 04/26/2009

It might seem as if it has not much to do with me personally, I know, but I was sad to see Southampton FC relegated from the Championship and forced to carry a 10 point penalty into next season. In fact, I think situations like that at Southampton affect every fan no matter how big your club, and all supporters should be in condemnation of the ridiculous situation that currently presides over the league at every level.

It may be that I used to have a good friend who came from the area and supported Southampton passionately - ensuring I check the Saints result very week - or that Blagg Jnr is at University there and I spend a lot of time in the town, but, whatever my affinity, I feel for any fans who are forced to suffer the pain of points deductions.

Posted by Billy Blagg on 04/26/2009

Petr Cech's superb penalty stop from Mark Noble gave Chelsea all three points at Upton Park and provided a welcome boost to the visitors, who face the rather more daunting challenge of Barcelona in the semi final of the Champions League on Wednesday.

Salomon Kalou's 55th minute opener for Chelsea followed excellent work by Frank Lampard, who responded to the inevitable abuse with the equally inevitable solid performance. I doubt either of these things will ever change.

April 22, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 04/22/2009

Some newspapers had this down as a lucky point for West Ham but I'm not sure why. True Villa went ahead as early as the 11th minute while West Ham's equaliser came in the 85th and Villa did have several chances to stretch their lead in the first half and the Hammers would surely have had trouble recovering from that.

But a quick look at the match statistics will show that the Hammer's forced as many corners as Villa and had the main percentage of the possession and, once Saviola and Sears were introduced in the 74th and 81st minutes respectively, the Hammers constantly stretched the home side's rearguard to the extent that it looked like any third goal would come from the visitors.

April 14, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 04/14/2009

Apologies to anyone who sent in a comment and hasn't able to see it on the Correspondents page. Due to technical incompetence on my part none of them had been added to the log page.
My stupidity has now been amended and all relevant comments have been added (I hope).

I welcome all comments - however idiotic (and by God there are quite a few odd people out there!) - and I will publish all that I can. Please note, however, by I am unable to publish Anonymous posts or anything profane and these will be deleted. I'm the only one allowed to swear here!

If you come from Scunthorpe, you may want to leave this information out of your comment.

Posted by Billy Blagg on 04/14/2009

Roman Pavlyuchenko's solitary second half strike was enough to earn Tottenham the 'double' over West Ham this season and, sadly, bragging rights for the 2008/09 season.

You'd have to say that Spurs probably deserved this victory though; the Hammers didn't create enough in the final third and missed the influence and menace of Cole and Parker. The Hammer's only real chance came shortly before Pavlyuchenko's winner, when Di Michele should have done better when he raced through Woodgate but seemed not to realise how much time was available when giving Gomez the chance to save.

April 7, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 04/07/2009

West Ham keeper Robert Green has pledged his support to the Premier League Reading Stars project by revealing his favourite read is Homer's 'The Iliad'.

After getting over the initial shock of seeing Rob pledge his support to a Championship side - just goes to show how we call all mis-read things sometimes! - I was heartened to see our goalkeeper erring on the side of something as bold, weighty and, frankly, as old as Homer's great work.

Green said: "Reading is such a big part of all our lives, everyone should try to make a bit of time each day to read more. You should never be scared of a book either, reading classics like The Iliad might seem daunting, but if you take your time, they are realliy interesting and you gain such a lot from trying them."

At the risk of sounding patronising (he says patronisingly); Good on 'yer Robert!

Posted by Billy Blagg on 04/07/2009

This really was an inspiring win. With Scott Parker out and Carlton Cole - injured playing for England in mid-week - expected to be sidelined for six weeks, there is no doubt that the Hammers looked as if they would find goals difficult to come by and, with Sunderland desperate for points, this had the air of one of those games where the struggling side might expect to upset the more fancied hosts.

However, Zola's promise to give the kids a run-out turned out to be more than just giving them first team experience, as Junior Stanislas and the increasingly impressive James Tomkins, both scored to give the Irons a richly deserved victory.

Billy Blagg Born at an early age a mere defenders' spit from the Boleyn ground, Billy Blagg has seen every West Ham game from 1898 onwards. Blagg was mentioned by Kenneth Wolstenholme in 1966 as one of the people on the pitch during the famous Hammers win over West Germany that lifted the World Cup and he returned to the pitch again for the 1975 FA Cup Final but stayed on the terrace for 1980 FA Cup victory. Blagg, 26, now lives with his eighth wife and innumerable children in a small semi-detached with chintz curtains in Dagenham, Essex and still attends every Hammers match and training session.

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