4 days ago
It was about ten years ago when I sat down with my daughter Olaf, now 21 and in her final year at Oxford, to enjoy a meal at an Italian restaurant. I was greatly taken by an electric grater of parmesan and suggested to the little Trustafarian (not on my side) that I quite fancied one for Christmas. “But what about the Polar Bears, Daddy” said Olaf almost in tears
3199 days ago
Whatever one things about the sheep shaggers, and as I explained on Friday I have mixed feelings, an evening match at the Millennium Stadium has a world beating atmosphere. It was a wonderful night. Wales played well, France were abject. I returned to Bristol rather worse for wear on the last train.
Worse was to come with Ireland against the Old Enemy. I really do loathe the swagger of English rugby with a passion. I loathed it when I wore the green jersey of London Irish
3206 days ago
he Environment Agency is in the headlines again. This time not for its obvious ineptitude in dealing with floods but for its obvious skill in pissing away cash on matters that have nothing whatsoever to do with its stated remit.
The list of shameful waste is a long one. £639 on mugs stating “Some people are gay, get over it” for its staff, £30,000 sponsoring the Birmingham gay pride march, £13,631 hiring meeting rooms at Fulham, Aston Villa and Sheffield United all of which are located within a few miles of where the Agency has its own offices; £3,600 sponsoring a speech and reception at the Royal Society of Arts (a speech given by EA Chairman Lord Smith); £1,056 on pin badges for 500 staff working on an Olympics event; £1,134 was spent on a plush dinner at Hotel Du Vin in Bristol for board members of the Environment Agency and Natural England to discuss ‘joint working and collaboration, etc, etc, etc.
As ever the issue here is that those spending the money (quango bosses) have a very different agenda from those providing the cash (the grateful taxpayer). I support gay pride marches and also a football club but if I want to give my money that is my call. The EA is giving other people’s money away.
I am sure that if one goes through the fine detail of how other Government agencies spend taxpayer’s cash one will see similar tales of how cash is used to sponsor pet projects outside the core remit and also to give senior staff a jolly good time. The State and State funded bodies’ ALWAYS
3251 days ago
Another day, another “six pointer” and West Ham comes away with nil points, after losing 2-1 to a side that lost its last game 6 nil ( Fulham). As a bonus, club skipper Kevin Nolan was sent off for a needless and mindless lunge for the second time in five weeks and now faces a three match ban. Again. Good. He is useless.
First things first. Nolan should be sold for however little at once. Pro tem Jussi should be club captain until Mark Noble returns from injury. Second up fat Sam Allardyce should (as I have been arguing for a year, warning of this) be fired at once. The World’s 13th highest paid manager has spent more in the summer than all bar 6 UK clubs and West Ham are still utterly shit.
A replacement? No-one could do worse (with the possible exceptions of Glen Roeder and Avram Grant). Glen Hoddle, Malky MacKay, Paul Ince, Paulo di Canio, Harry Redknapp’s dog – I’d take any of them tight now. I am sure the Board have better ideas than me (well sort of sure) but on the basis that no-one could be worse than Fat Sam, the P45 should be issued at once.
Let Karen Brady take charge for a few days as an interim measure for all I care, things could not get any worse.
3254 days ago
As a consistent “Fat Sam must go” man for more than a year it gives me no pleasure in saying I was right. That the team that ranked 7th in summer transfer signing spending money languishes second from bottom is disgraceful, however it is spun. For the past year, my articles have been met with abuse ““get behind the team”, “sod off and support Spurs”, etc.) or excuses (injuries, bad refereeing decisions, it will all get better when Andy Horseface is fit to play, etc.).
But the facts are clear. West Ham has failed to defeat teams we needed to beat in recent weeks (Sunderland and West Brom) if we were to stay up. I do not give two hoots about beating Spurs in the Mickey Mouse Cup as I cannot see us getting past Man City in the semis. And even winning the MM Cup would be no consolation for relegation and all that that entails.
On New Year’s Day we travel to Fulham who look to be even more useless than we are right now. If we come away with three points we might slither out of the relegation zone, old horseface might finally return from injury for the Newcastle game (18th January) and Sam’s bacon might be saved.
Lose to the Cottagers and we could well approach my 46th Birthday (January 12th in case FS wishes to send me an early card – resignation letter enclosed) rooted to the bottom of the table. We learned with Roeder that if you hang onto a loser for too long it is too late to escape the drop. There are so many other managers out there who are available and who could do no worse. Indeed (with the possible exception of Avram Grant) it is hard to think of anyone who could do worse.
If the Board is serious about staying up a new manager must be in situe hours after the Fulham game ( whatever the result) with a chequebook ready to use ( a couple of defenders who could defend, would be handy whose purchase could be funded by the sale of, say, Downing and Collins). Standing by Sam is surely now utterly futile.
3267 days ago
Spurs (7th) have fired their boss already this season. Today as it happens. Sunderland in 20th place, Fulham (19th), Palace (18th ) and West Brom (16th) have doled out managerial P45s already and Cardiff (15th) look set to axe their boss, former West Ham player Malky Mackay, within days. So which team is in 17th spot and looking utterly useless right now?
Step forward my beloved West Ham. If Mackay becomes available surely a P45 for Fat Sam must be imminent? If Malky is not free I really do not care who we appoint: Paul Ince, Paulo di Canio, Marco Boogers, Harry Redknapp’s dog, the late Nelson Mandela. I just do not care anymore. Fat Sam must go.
3616 days ago
Skipper Kevin Nolan is out thanks to suspension. So much for the lack of yellow card discipline you get with Fat Sam. The good news is that for the same reason the hopeless liability, sorry should that read bedrock of our defence, that is James Collins will also miss the game. Norwich will be gutted about that one.
There are no key players returning from injury and so the four man midfield lining up behind Carlton Cole and Vaz Te upfront will be Noble, Jarvis, O’Neill and Taylor. I cannot say that this strikes me as either rock solid or threatening. Having said that Norwich have a few key players missing too and so it is hard to call the result.
What we do know is that if we win we go to 26 points and that would see some clear claret and blue water between us and the teams battling to avoid going down with the Rednapp and with woeful Reading. That is to say Villa, Southampton, Wigan ( who are bound to escape as the bastards always do) and – arguably – Fulham. If we lose we will have won one game in nine and have been sucked back into the relation mire.
So this is a must win game. I am doing my bit by staying away as West Ham never win when I attend. Having witnessed the Reading debacle first hand I cannot say that I am optimistic so I am off for a long walk and will say a prayer.
Whatever the result I am more and more certain of one thing. The deal with Fat Sam was that we might not like his style but we paid that price for not having to start January contemplating the awful possibility of a relegation dogfight. Whatever happens today, I stand by my view of the other day that in May Sam must go and we need to appoint di Canio as our new manager on a long contract.
COYI, I say rather weakly.