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West Ham United
April 24, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 04/24/2010

Thirteen minutes from the end of this nail-biting match, Scott Parker drove through the middle of midfield; he looked left, he looked right - he saw no-one - so, with not many other opportunites presenting themselves, he instead smashed a shot from all of 25 yards which dipped and curled and virtually burst just inside the post and past the groping Wigan keeper's fingers to put West Ham 3-2 up. Upton Park went wild. At the right time and at exactly the right place, the Hammer's real Captain showed just what a class act he is with a goal of classic proportions.

When the final whistle blew and the result from Hull came through, the players and fans celebrated what all had hoped for but few had dared to believe. There was to be no last match drama; a point or three at Fulham wasn't really essential after all (although it would be nice), the usual last day bum-squeak wasn't required, instead it was a reflection on an awful season that has proved just one thing - there were three teams even worse than West Ham this time around - and for that we can all just be grateful.

April 19, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 04/19/2010

"West Ham are scrapping for points" said the nice man from ESPN Soccernet. I really must get myself a new Oxford Dictionary; mine seems to be out of date. Either that or there is some new definition of 'scrapping' that I hadn't previously come across.

This was a totally inept performance that was nicely summed out by ex-Hammer Benayoun's opener, a nicely guided ball into the bottom corner via Yossi's stomach. What a sickener for Carlton Cole and his fellow forwards. They are struggling to steer the ball in via head, feet, knees or shins yet Liverpool players can volley home with a touch of belly!

April 10, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 04/10/2010

There was a collective sigh of relief at the final whistle; this may well have been the day that West Ham ensured another season in the Premiership. The three points garnered here in a hard-fought match mirrored the loss of those at Hull in what many considered was a home banker that would bring the Tigers within range of West Ham.

It's not over yet, of course, it would be just as wrong to start celebrating now as it was wrong to start calling for the head of Zola a few games back, but it's hard not to see the decision to stick with the Italian has proved to be the correct one. The team are playing for him and there was a grim determination against Sunderland that augers well for the remaining four games.

April 6, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 04/06/2010

There are several ways of viewing this result; Hammers win an unexpected point away against a form team, Visitors lose three points thanks to a missed spot kick from a man who shouldn't have been given the opportunity to waste, Home side unlucky after Ref fails to award a stonewall penalty and, finally, gutsy comeback in final minutes mean West Ham still have some fight left and offers encouragement for the remaining games.

You can choose your own, of course, but in many ways that pretty much sums up this excellent Sky televised match as West Ham twice battled back from behind to secure a point and a bit of much needed confidence.

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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