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West Ham United
January 17, 2010
Posted by Billy Blagg on 01/17/2010

Make no mistake this was a stirring, disciplined and organised display from West Ham that fully deserved a point and, although briefly, did promise a little more at times. I've never subscribed to the theories that Zola is an inept tactician and that point was surely proved here as the Hammers blunted Villa early on and grew in confidence as the game continued. Whatever the outcome of the proposed buy-out's I hope the new owners see the worth of Zola and give him more time and a little money to show what he can do.

October 23, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 10/23/2009

It was a week in which football moved from the back pages to the front and then to centre. A week in which web pages buzzed and the gossip in the office was all on the same topic. You could hear it on trains and buses; whispered in libraries and debated loudly in pubs; spoken of in reverent tones as young lovers nestled between the sheets. Even our local vicar was moved to mention it in his sermon on Sunday (not that I was there to hear it, of course). "And, lo, verily the word went out that David Beckham was to grow a beard. And the Lord looked and he saw that it was good". I have always suspected that the early 21st Century finds us as a Nation with too much time on its hands. Now I am certain.

October 12, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 10/12/2009

“I have always resisted the temptation to describe any match as the most exciting I have ever seen, but this was the exception. This really was the greatest”
Peter Batt – The Sun

“If this match had been presented as a piece of football fiction-writing, you would have rejected it as being too ridiculous”
Desmond Hackett – The Daily Express

October 7, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 10/07/2009

The second part of the story of one of West Ham's greatest ever cup runs and the League Cup's finest semi-finals.

This week; Gordon Banks' wonder penalty save from Geoff Hurst.

October 1, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 10/01/2009

A fantastic cup run in which West Ham beat some of the best teams of the day, eventually taking part as odd-on favourites in one of the great cup semi-finals decided over four games and 420 pulsating minutes before cruel fate and controversy intervenes to ensure it all ends in heart-breaking defeat, may not be the type of story that you think will need re-telling after 37 years. In some ways though, the 1971/2 League Cup run is everything that West Ham represents. Like it or loath it, the very reason that you - young or old - support the Hammers can be laid bare on a miserable, cold, rain-sodden Manchester night in January 1972. Read on if you dare.

January 9, 2009
Posted by Billy Blagg on 01/09/2009

Another in what is an irregular feature, as Blagg discovers a batch of old floppy discs containing all the old Blagg columns dating back nearly ten years and posted on what was then known as the 'Ironworks' (now WestHamOnline.net).

Watch in wonder as our Anti-hero manages to stumble through the late nineties and early noughties occasionally showing glimpses of a Mystic Meg persona, while equally revealing a powerful need to be a complete idiot sometimes.

This time out, laugh loudly or smile ruefully as I take a look at a column I wrote when Glenn Roeder was given the job. I really did give him the benefit of the doubt, didn't I? (This article also later became part of the book 'Nightmare on Green Street')

December 22, 2008
Posted by Billy Blagg on 12/22/2008

Found in the loft of my Granny's house recently, this old and festive manuscript written by my great-great-grandfather Sir Arthur Conan Blagg.

It was Christmas Eve, a fine crisp night, and I had just poured myself a large brandy, stoked the fire and settled into the leather chair with my copy of Dickens 'Christmas Carol', when Virginia, my eight year old daughter, open the door into my study. "Daddy", she said, rubbing her eyes with one hand while fiercely clutching a teddy bear with the other, "Will Santa still come tonight?" Pausing to place the drink on the leather topped bureau, I held my arms open to her and then placed her on my knee and looked into her little blue eyes. I am not an unsentimental man, though some claim that I do not suffer fools gladly, but I had always resolved to be forthright and truthful with my offspring and answer all questions in the only way I knew how. The Scientist and philosopher in me demanded nothing else. So it was not without a heavy heart that I adjusted my pince-nez and held my darling daughters little hand. "Now, Virginia, you must listen carefully to what I have to say. There are several points you must heed, for me to answer that question....."

About
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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