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West Ham United
October 24, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 10/24/2010

Now call me an idiot - it wouldn't be the first time - but I really thought that, prior to this game, West Ham were in a false position in the league and this match would be the start of a steady climb up the table. Now after this? Frankly, we're in a relegation scrap and I'm not seeing three other teams worse than us. This was awful. Plain awful.

Now admittedly, I was working away and only managed to catch the second half live (in a pub in Nottingham - it was pretty lonely) and judging from later MOTD highlights our best football was played in the first 15 minutes, but I'm pretty sure a game lasts 90 minutes minimum, and the half that I did see showed me a team lacking even the basic fight and will to win that is the minimum required in this division.

October 20, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 10/20/2010

Working just a stone’s throw from Norwich’s Carrow Road Ground this week I took the opportunity to grab a ticket to see a Championship game in which the high flying Canaries - Ha! See what I did there? - were playing against a struggling Crystal Palace outfit in what promised to be a good fixture for the home side. But any neutral - which I kinda suppose I was - would have found it difficult to believe that it was the men in yellow who were pushing for promotion while the South London side propped up the table.

From the off, Crystal Palace looked sharper, more inventive and cohesive and far more dangerous with the excellent Wilfred Zaha looking a real handful. This lad is surely destined for greater things on this showing.

October 17, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 10/17/2010

"I'd been a professional for two and a half months and Malcolm had taught me everything I know. When Malcolm was coaching schoolboys he took a liking to me when I don't think anyone else at West Ham saw anything special in me... I looked up to the man. It's not too strong to say I loved him." Bobby Moore

If Mooro thought Allison was that good then it's certain he was. Joining West Ham in 1951 from Charlton, Allison was the type of player who would stay behind after training to discuss tactics and try out new moves. Under the stewardship of Ted Fenton, then West Ham's manager, Allison was encouraged to get involved in coaching and took a particular interest in the progression of younger players and, famously a young Robert Moore; a player some of the coaching staff were not convinced about.

Posted by Billy Blagg on 10/17/2010
XXXXXX © Getty Images
Frederic Piquionne saw one shot smack against the crossbar before having a goal unfairly disallowed with the last kick of the game as the Hammers came away from Molineux with a creditable draw thanks to Mark Noble's fiercely struck penalty after 53 minutes.

Quite what referee Mark Clattenburg saw - although TV replays suggest he couldn't have seen much - is likely to remain unknown but if Piquionne did use his hand to control the ball before netting in the last minute, then it is the most liberal interpretation of the body part I have ever seen. I am constantly amused by how far the hand now stretches upwards but, in this case, I'm intending to contact Medical Practitioners immediately as I seem to have a nipple on my 'hand'!

October 2, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 10/02/2010

A scrappy encounter led to a share of the points and West Ham ending the day back at the bottom of the division. Even so, it was a fourth successive result for the Hammers and being as there is only three points seperating the Irons from 10th place, it's still too early to start panicking. Mentally though, it would be better if that win came sooner rather than later.

Pre-match much was made of the fact that Rob Green was facing his World Cup nemesis Clint Dempsey, scorer of the U.S. goal that so spectacularly ended Green's World Cup hopes. It was inevitable then I suppose that it was Dempsey who opened the scoring, volleying in from 12 yards on the half hour mark.

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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