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West Ham United
March 29, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 03/29/2010

A few days at home in Sardinia seem to have decided Gianfranco Zola that he has unfinished business at West Ham, announcing his decision to not walk away from Upton Park but to see the job through to the end...whatever the 'end' may be!

Following the devastating loss at home to Stoke, the Hammers boss gave the team 3 days to recuperate and jetted home to Italy to consider his future with media speculation that the pressure of the job and a run-in with co-owner David Sullivan had caused Zola to decide to walk-away from the job in which he quickly become marginalised following the boardroom take-over and the subsequent loss of his friends Nani and Duxbury.

March 27, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 03/27/2010

I don't know about Gianfranco Zola but I'm considering my future after this latest debacle. Despite Tuesday nights mess and the horrendous stories flying about of David Sullivan's bust-up with Steve Clarke, impending disciplinary action for the Hammers coach and much mud-slinging and name calling, I actually thought the whole thing would bring the team together and provide a spirited display that would result in three points.

But it didn' fact, in many ways, although the performance against Stoke wasn't as shambolic as the display against Wolves, this was even more of a shocker. Gianfranco Zola is said to be considering his position overnight but I would have to say - much as I have supported the Italian - I think his position is now virtually untenable. Our last three home games have served up three defeats against sides sitting alongside us that we were confidently expected to get a result from and, late in the day though it may be, I just see no way back for Zola from this.

March 26, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 03/26/2010

'A battle for the soul of West Ham' is how one newspaper reported it. I'm not sure it's that; West Ham's soul was lost long ago when the Premier League and Sky declared Year Zero and effectively ended the life of family-run teams with an eye on local talent, good football and a quaint traditional way of running things. Once the 'new boss' decided it was a multi-million pound business and a world-wide franchise then teams like West Ham were always going to run hard and fast to keep up with the whirl of expectation. Inevitably, it's been a struggle as it's never been best to expect anything from West Ham. When you expect little, you get more back.

March 23, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 03/23/2010

"....Mr Blagg is not at home at present. He is out looking for Barry Fry's telephone number and investigating train times to Norwich and is expected back some time in July. Please feel free to leave a message and Billy will speak to you when he has fully recovered.... BEEEEEEEEEP...."

March 20, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 03/20/2010

This was always a home banker so the result shouldn't be too much of a surprise, but I was hopeful that we might upset Arsenal as we have in the past and barring a superb penalty stop from Almunia that might just have been possible. As it was though, the title-chasing home side always had enough in reserve to thwart West Ham who never really offered enough threat up front to trouble the home team.

If there was a particular disappointment it was that, though I understand we might have been out passed by the Arse, it was disturbing to see us outfought; the men in red crisper and more determined in the tackle and often coming away with the ball in what might otherwise have been dangerous build-up situations.

March 19, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 03/19/2010

More departee's from Upton Park: this time long-serving coach and ex-keeper Ludek Miklosko followed later by stab victim Calum Davenport who has reportedly accepted a pay-off to get him off the books.

Rumours of Ludo's exit are doing the rounds, with talk of the Czech disagreeing with the new owners about aspects of the club since Gold and Sullivan moved in. It must also be said though that there are further stories circulating that Miklosko has a serious back injury and has passed on the coaching reigns to Kevin Hitchcock. With neither party electing to comment, the real reason may not become known for some time.

Posted by Billy Blagg on 03/19/2010

The result was probably as expected but I thought the scoreline a trifle harsh on a Hammers side who gave a good account of themselves for an hour of the match until Drogba scored Chelsea's second, prompting the stuffing to fall out of West Ham's attempts to make a game of it.

When Alex put the home side ahead after 16 minutes and with Chelsea playing some smart football, the game looked over as a contest but a superb strike from Scott Parker ensured the Hammers went in level at the break.

March 7, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 03/07/2010

On the face of it - according to pundits anyway - this was three points waiting to be collected. West Ham had won their last two home games and, since Arsenal knocked them out of the cup in January, the Hammers were unbeaten at home scoring five and conceding none.

The visitors on the other hand hadn't won away all season and lost their last four, scoring none and conceding ten. All set fair then until you look at the top of the page and see the teams playing. Bolton Wanderers are West Ham's nemesis. Forget Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and all - we've picked up points over those in recent memory and even managed a double occasionally. Bolton? A mere cup win on the way to the 2006 final (and that was an extra time result) and a do or die Tevez-led league victory in the relegation-escaping season after.

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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