May 22, 2011
Survival Sunday: Was there anyone in the country with even the remotest interest in football who wasn't enthralled by the days events? With the excitement garnered elsewhere, the lack of even a small chance of retaining the last bit of pride left in east London was a bitter pill to swallow. I was probably more disappointed this week than I was last that West Ham couldn't even give us a last day hurrah.
I'd hoped for a decent win so that I could underline the importance of the lack of detail that has gone into this season's campaign - something I was interested to see was picked up last week by the Telegraph's Henry Winter, a couple of Mirror hacks and no lesser light than La Brady herself (Not that I'm suggesting any of them read my Soccernet blog, you understand...).
Perhaps we could point to just one loss or a dropped point here or there to convince ourselves that it could all have been so different. But the awfullness of this season was underlined by an inept capitulation, of which the only reedeming factor was the fact that we ended the campaign so adrift there wasn't even a sense of 'What If?' about it all. 3-0 at home to Sunderland says all that need be said.
May 16, 2011
Anger, frustration, disappointment, surprise - I really didn't see this coming with the players they had at their disposal - and, yes, a bit of sorrow I guess; but the main emotions I've suffered since confirmation of West Ham's relegation to the Championship following the 3-2 defeat at Wigan, is the horrible sense of resignation and ennui - and that is what hurts more than anything.
You see, I'm used to the annual roller-coaster of supporting West Ham. The exhilaration of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, the joy of seeing young players come through the Academy and make their mark on the game before leaving for the promised land of Champions League football, exciting wins, dismal losses, bizarre decisions, crocked players, overpaid wasters, the way the unexpected becomes the expected - all these things are part of the pain and pleasure involved in supporting the Hammers. But this horrible season has even stripped me of the capacity to relish the low points. Frankly, I'm tired - so tired - of watching the people who run this club continually try to outdo themselves by shooting off their mouths while simultaneously shooting themselves in the foot.
May 15, 2011
In a classy move that just about sums up the 2010/11 season, West Ham sacked manager Avram Grant less than an hour after their 3-2 defeat at Wigan resigned them to the Championship next season.
Grant was apparently pulled out from the post-match press conference, a club spokesman returning 20 minutes later to confirm that Grant was 'no longer Manager at West Ham United'. Grant was said to be close to tears and emotional after the game saying "I'm sorry for the supporters, the people in the club and the players". Reserve team coach Kevin Keen will take over for the Hammer's last Premiership hurrah at home to Sunderland next Sunday.
May 7, 2011
"Que Sera Sera", they sang "We're going to Cov-entry". Gallows humour was at a premium at Upton Park on Saturday as West Ham stumbled through another must-win game and eventually gained a point that, in the last ten minutes, probably should have been three.
It's been an odd season all round the country, but no weirder surely than the Boleyn Ground, where the Hammers continue to frustrate and annoy as - just like last week at Manchester - the team started slowly in a 15 minute spell that allows the opposition the chance to stamp their authority on the game. West Ham seem to be content to be second best in the tackle and hope their reputation might give them what they seem to think they deserve. As John Lennon once remarked: "Strange Days Indeed!"
May 4, 2011
Ultimately this was still a defeat, I guess, but there was quite a bit to admire about West Ham's fightback in this match and there were fairly long periods where I believed a point wasn't beyond the Hammers' capabilities. Eventually though, the result was decided in the first 15 minutes with Nigel de Jong's long shot and Jacobsen's Own Goal from an excellent Zabaleta one-two that left the Hammer's full-back with little option but to clear from underneath his own bar and into the net.
It was the most inadvertant OG and, had Jacobsen left it, then the ball would have been tapped in at the far post by a lurking Balotelli, but even so for me it was Jacobsen's and not the City players goal - much as the Danish defender may not want the stat on his record!