Personal and undiluted views
FA Cup

348 days ago

Post Pfizer – what is Novacyt worth? Far from zero but it’s a slam dunk sell.

Some of us were always of the view that our leaders were somewhat over-reacting to a disease where the average casualty lived longer than UK life expectancy and where the survival rate is 99.97%. But yesterday Pfizer announced it has a vaccine which will protect 90% of those injected which would mean that your chances of perishing from Covid will pretty soon be less than that of being mown down by a bus carrying a West Ham team that has just won the FA Cup. So where does that leave Covid testing play Novacyt (NCYT)?

---

373 days ago

Matt "the Poltroon" Hancock - please explain why can I watch this soccer game?

The last time I saw Brislington Ladies was in a home game in Bristol in the FA Cup against West Ham ladies. About half of the crowd of 80 or so were emigre “cockneys” such as myself delighted to be able to support our side in the South West. The mighty Irons won 6 nil. I see that Brislington Ladies are again in FA Cup action this weekend, this time against Cheltenham Town. And what is more, certain folks can pay to watch the game live.

---

2018 days ago

West Ham out of the Cup - Bilic Out! (Only Kidding)

Slaven Bilic has had an amazing first season as manager of West Ham and if anything I warm to him after we got knocked out of the cup for simply admitting that on the day the better side won. It makes a nice change from managers blaming the ref or saying "we was robbed". But I cannot hide my disappointment, none the less. The winner of that replay had to be favourite for the cup as we entered the semi-finals and I just felt it might be "our season".

I did my bit

---

2021 days ago

University of Bristol has "something to suit everyone" this month - if you are a commie with sheep fixations that is

I guess most people on the Bristol Uni public events email list are members of the Welsh Militant Tendency then. Or am I just a bit narrow minded? You see my email arrives and I am promised that this month "we have events to suit everyone." 

Goodie goodie thought I - an evening with blond lap dancers gyrating on stage before reading their favourite excepts from the works of Ayn Rand with a screen at the back showing a replay of West Ham winning the FA Cup in 1964, all washed down with free ouzo on tap. Surely that would please lots of folks? Oddly it appears not to be on offer. Instead I have a choice of:

 

---

2061 days ago

Bringing my daughter up to support West Ham - no longer a Social Services offence: 1965 arrives

For some reason my daughter is a soccer nut and has followed her father over land and sea (okay I exaggerate) as a diehard hammer. When she trains with her club it is in her West Ham shirt and shorts (Christmas present) and after big games we always have a chat. I have just received a delivery at the front door from the West Ham store.

You see it had a special offer a few days ago - a replica Cup Winners Cup shirt from 1965 for £19.65. So natch I bought two, one for me which I am now wearing - having taken off my Pride of E13 T-shirt which the Mrs had suggested was a tad in need of a wash - and one for the daughter. I shall post it later today and know that she will share the thrill I enjoyed whe her shirt arrives.

There have been times when I wondered if Social Services would be concerned about how I had introduced the daughter to The Irons.

---

2066 days ago

West Ham: 1 More Point & we are safe from relegation - sod the FA Cup first things first

There is a lot of talk among West Ham supporters about how we are now just two games away from the FA Cup Final. Others look at how we are 5th in the Premiership and talk of European football next season. Let's not get carried away. First things first...

---

2114 days ago

The Magic of the FA Cup: Oxford puts Swansea to the sword

Oxford is the City of my birth and although I hate the place with a passion I've had a soft spot for Oxford United since seeing the team play, with my soccer mad daughter a year or so ago. And today at the Kassam, Oxford showed what the FA Cup is all about.

The home side are currently third - so in an automatic play-off spot - in the bottom flight: League two. They are "in form". The visitors in the 3rd Round of the Cup were Premiership Swansea who are not in form and are among the four or five sides battling to avoid going down with Aston Villa who appear to be dead in the water. Right now the Swans are just above the relegation zone but you would not bet the ranch on them surviving.

And so perhaps Swansea saved a few players for more important league battles

---

2114 days ago

West Ham - defying Mark Lawrenson, it all seems so different these days

Before the FA Cup 3rd round tie against Wolves yesterday there were two big calls. Once again TV pundit Lauro called out West Ham to lose in one of the day's big upsets. Happily Lauro was once again wrong. The other big call was from our relatively new manager Slaven Bilic who said that he'd rather win the FA Cup than finish in the top four of the Premiership so ensuring Champions League football next year at the Olympic Stadium. These are not the sort of words long term Hammers are used to hearing.

---

2444 days ago

West Ham dumped out of FA Cup by West Brom, it is my fault but fat Sam still talking cobblers

And so the FA Cup dream is over after we were thrashed 4-0 by West Brom at The Hawthorns. Fat Sam Allardyce is quoted as admitting that we were “second best” on the day. No shit Sherlock. FOUR NIL you might justifiably say that we were second best. Put another way we played like shite.

But I must admit that I played my part on our downfall. I did not watch the game. That would have made it six nil. I did not even think about it. However I allowed myself to dream.

I shall be heading back to the Greek Hovel in early May in order to avoid the General Election and to start a five month sabbatical working on a non-finance project.  But the other day I thought “what about the FA Cup Final?” I decided that were we win it I would fly back, take out a second mortgage and get a seat for myself and my daughter. Yes, I made those plans and that ensured that we would not get anywhere near Wembley.

I apologise to all West Ham supporters for my part in our 2015 downfall.

Looking on the bright side we are on 38 points. By my reckoning that is one win and two draws and we are safe from relegation. When was the last time you can remember us going into March contemplating the fact that we were certain NOT to go down?

---

2849 days ago

Nottingham Forest 5 - West Ham Nil: Utter humiliation: what have I done to my daughter?

I cannot even be bothered to see who fat Sam Allardyce ( the world's 13th highest paid manager) blames for this latest humiliation for West Ham. We have been knocked out of the FA Cup in the 3rd Round to lower league sides before but 5 nil? Why was Sam not sacked last year as I suggested? last week as everyone suggested? Or today as every is again suggesting?

I cannot bring myself to talk to my daughter as I do after every game. This is just so dreadful. Why did I inflict the pain of supporting West Ham on her? Call social services.

---

3178 days ago

Aston Villa vs. West Ham – Match Preview and those John Lyall memories

For once West Ham are spoiled for choice. Andy Carroll, Mo Diame are fit and on fire. The starting eleven almost picks itself but – and I never thought I’d ever write this – there is competition among top class players to just get on the bench as an attacking player. Carlton Cole gets the nod but Maiga is back from Africa Cup duty and Wellington Paulista has scored three in three for the U-21s. It is an odd position to be in.

The last time I was at Villa Park was for that memorable John Lyall FA Cup Semi against Middlesbrough. The week after the great man died the crowd was asked for a minute’s silence. The ref’s whistle blew and you could have heard a pin drop. Suddenly someone shouted out “Johnny Lyall’s claret and blue army. For a second there was shock & silence. Then everyone was chanting along. It was truly emotional and of course we won the game ( Marlon Harewood goal). The video below recaptures what was a spine tingling moment.

After the game, I headed back to the station in a cab shared with three Middlesbrough supporters and my old friend Derek Musgrove.

---

3214 days ago

West Ham vs Man United: FA Cup 3rd Round Preview (and two videos from past Cup games)

It is a 5.15 kick off so for now I can relax and look at how the other games are unfolding. I was chatting to a Newcastle supporter yesterday and the mood at whatever the stadium is called these days must be very bleak right now. On 20 points in the league (just two points above third bottom Wigan) and today out of the Cup thanks to Championship side Brighton. The side has injuries, its best player has just gone to Chelski ( and scored already) and I suspect that West Ham old boy Alan Pardew must – at the back of his mind – be starting to think that a P45 is on the way. Newcastle thinks it is a big club and unless Pards turns it around quickly, he looks like toast.

As for West Ham, Fat Sam has been active in the transfer market. Two new strikers (Maguire and Chamakh) are on board given options other than Carlton Cole up front with Carroll still injured and Maiga off to the African Cup ( and perhaps shipped out in the transfer windown anyway). But Joe Cole will almost certainly be playing today. With him, Jarvis (he of the covershoot in gay magazine Attitude fame), and Noble (if on form) playing behind Cole we do look able to score goals. Top scorer Kevin Nolan is back from suspension and although he is not universally loved I welcome his return. He may slow the game up a bit but a) he scores and b) he adds a bit of grit in defence which is where I always panic.

Injuries means that we have recalled young Danny Potts from his loan spell at Colchester.

---