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West Ham United
July 31, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 07/31/2009

The world of football is a sadder place this morning. Bobby Robson was one of the good guys; a top manager, one of the last of the old school of players and management and one of those people that you just know you'd like if you ever met. What he achieved with Ipswich shows just how good he was as a Manager (and let's not forget he was an England footballer as a player too) and his star could even have shone a little brighter but he was cruelly rewarded in 1990 when England went out on penalties in the semi-final of the World Cup. That England side deserved better luck and Robson, in particular, was dealt a cruel hand, as he showed throughout that tournament not only his tactical acumen but also his ability to get the best from his players, in particular his man-management of the difficult Paul Gascoigne. In retrospect, it was probably only Bobby Robson who successfully handled the mercurial Gascoigne's talent and we can only guess what might have happened had Robson been able to harness his talent for longer.

July 9, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 07/09/2009

I know the Soccernet bosses like us to turn up in the office regularly over the close season, but I think it's a well known fact that I believe the period between early May and mid August should be entirely for the domain of summer sports (and I'm fully aware many of you were involved in late May and are already ironing your club shirts for pre-season tournaments) and it's something I like to resist where possible.

Be that as it may though, I've just popped in to do a spot of tidying and dusting and thought I'd just mention a few WHU related topics to keep the wheels turning.

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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