Sound like anyone we know? "... this was Bolton's seventh [now eighth] straight win over West Ham. That's seven [now eight!] and that's Bolton. It's all very well talking about bogey sides but this is not good enough and it's not good enough by a long way. Those seven defeats [now eight] won't all be down to Avram Grant, David's Gold or Sullivan, or even a good many of the players but, unless you blame the only constant - us, the fans - you have to look at other reasons."
I'm not sure if it's a done thing to go quoting yourself, but I wrote the above when Bolton beat West Ham at Upton Park at the beginning of the season and started the rot that has landed us where we are today. Silly me - I actually thought we might break the hoodoo given the importance of the game, but instead we got to sit back and admire the skills of Daniel Sturridge and suffer another chastening experience at the Reebok. I suppose we should just be thankful that bloody Kevin Davies didn't score again.
This is one of those games that might be easy to write for the neutral or the Bolton supporter. However, written from a Hammer's persepective, there is really nothing to say. Demba Ba hit the woodwork and .... well, that's about it. West Ham were outplayed by Sturridge who tore the West Ham defence to shreds at times. The players were arguing amongst themselves, the hangdog look of Avram Grant now means he actually has his cheek jowls scraping on the floor - he resembles Deputy Dawg more and more each week (but without the humour) - and the brief renaissance that looked likely to pull West Ham clear a few weeks back has now become another frantic scramble for points.
Rather than dwell on the match stats that, frankly, make grim reading I'd like to consider the effect that a good manager can have on a player; Johan Elmander, for example, looking three times the player under Owen Coyle than he ever did under Gary Megson. Ironic too that Sturridge, a Chelsea player unable to find a place in the star-studded line-up at Stamford Bridge should prove himself such a worthy adversary under Coyle. Consider the similar aspirations of Carlton Cole - another former Chelsea player who couldn't break through - who found some form and an England spot under a former WHU manager, but who now is only bought on when things are already lost. Is there really no way to find a decent forward line-up with Demba Ba, Cole, Keane, Piquionne and Obinna in the ranks? And what is the point of bringing in James Tomkins and dropping Jacobsen when - presumably - Tomkins wasn't thought worthy a place when ManU were tearing the Hammer's flanks apart last week? I just don't get it.
It would be nice to think that West Ham may have another chance to break the Bolton hoodoo next season but I have to say, on this form, it seems increasing unlkely.