Personal and undiluted views
Spurs

680 days ago

Women’s Soccer – why cannot the BBC be more honest?

I have watched West Ham women live, I watched them lose the FA Cup Final last year on the TV, gripped. I cheered on the brave Lionesses this summer. Supporting my daughter’s sporting career in ways you cannot imagine, I take women’s sport seriously. But to pretend that there should be equal pay for women’s soccer players with the men and that both games are of equal status, as the BBC does, is to deny the facts.

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1509 days ago

Lord Sugar called me a financial illiterate but the old bastard had a certain charm even then

It was back in the mid nineties when I met Lord Sugar. I was a reporter on the Evening Standard and was sent to meet him the night before Spurs, which he then owned, was set to report its results. Nick Hewer picked me up in his white roller and took me up to White Hart Lane where the scum were playing, I think, Hereford in, again I think, a League Cup replay.
Natch, as a West Ham supporter my second team is anyone playing the scum so I sat in the directors box secretly cheering on Hereford or whoever it was. I did not join in the delirious joy as Spurs scored repeatedly.

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1542 days ago

Yeeeees - Christmas comes early at West Ham, but I did not dare look

I did not want to hex my beloved West Ham so not only did I not seek out somewhere to watch the game but I switched off my PC so I could see nothing on twitter. In fact I made sure that I did not know the result until this morning. Here in a Greek Hotel as the bubbles tucked into their breakfast a loud YEEEES went up.

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1787 days ago

Grounds for Divorcing the Mrs...she just cannot be serious!

Given that she is due to give birth to our son in nine days time I might just forgive her but the Mrs is pushing her luck.

Among the very few possessions of mine that are allowed in the house as opposed to the garage are a signed and framed Mark Cavendish shirt which, given what team it is from, is actually quite rare and a framed and signed Geoff Hurst 1966

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2641 days ago

A last bitter taste of Greece

I watch West Ham beat Spurs, chat to a pleasant Anglo Greek bird who asks to borrow a lighter and turns out to be the daughter of a woman who has met my Dad in the scholarly study of Northern Epirus and it is off to the airport.  I know that it is a fixed fare but the driver starts the meter running.

We arrive and the clock says just under 26 Euro. Manfully he adds in a multiple of the tolls we have paid and we are still only at 31 Euro. So he turns round and having logged the 31 Euro as a print off he says “fixed fare 35 Euro” and shows me the a laminated card laughing.

I know full well that had we had more traffic and the total been 40 Euro he’s have chanced his arm and asked me for 40 Euro because most tourists just pay. That is why he set the meter running for a fixed fare. As it happens the total despite his toll swindle is only 31 Euro so: I pay the 35 Euro. he declares 31 Euro for tax purposes (if that) and 4 Euro disappears into the black economy. I am afraid that this remains the Greek way. Too many folks here think that swindling a foreigner and cheating the tax man is all part of the game.

I accept that it is the Greek way. The taxi driver was just a laughing wanker. I know that. I do not bear a grudge against Greece or the Greek people. I love it here and will be back soon. But one day folks here will have to learn that taxes are not optional and that swindling foreigners so brazenly is not a way to win long term friends.

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2641 days ago

West Ham vs. Spurs at lunchtime & why Fat Sam must go

I hope the game is on TV somewhere here in Athens and I shall be cheering on the Irons from Greece. Or will I be? Of course I will, hell's teeth this is The Scum at home is it not?

I cannot see Norwich winning at Stamford Bridge tomorrow (or for that matter at home to Arsenal next week) and thus even if we lose to the Scum we should be mathematically safe. And so I am just a bit torn.

Naturally I want to make it 3 out of 3 this year against the Scum. I cannot bring myself to hope for any other result and one would hope that the players are up for the match knowing that this is how the fans feel.  I am sad to say it but this is our Cup Final.

But if we lose or draw? 

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2731 days ago

Ireland & West Ham both win on the same weekend – when did that last happen?

As you might have gathered, teams that gain my support on the sports field can rarely be described as consistent models of success. West Ham, Northants CC, Ireland & Ulster at rugby, Eire at football and England at Cricket. The less said about the last on that list the better – for now I have decided that supporting the England women’s cricket team is less painful.

My big loves are, for my sins, Irish rugby and West Ham. For the former I can blame my father. For the latter I have only myself to blame. But this weekend both Ireland and West Ham won. I really cannot remember the last time this happened. 

At this stage of the season I usually have a conversation with God on the matter of sport. Heavenly father, will you allow West Ham to avoid relegation and as a trade-off I will give you that Ireland will not win the six nations. But would you mind terribly if we won the Triple Crown? I sense that God is not really interested in such discussions (although why he should have anything against Irish rugby is beyond me, surely he cannot support England?) and thus Ireland will probably not win the Triple Crown and as for West Ham? If the appeal against the red card shown to Horseface (Andy Carroll) on Saturday is successful – as I think it should be – we actually looked like a half decent side. 

Okay we are still in the 3rd relegation spot ( 18th) but in theory just one win would put us 11t

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2766 days ago

Less than Three Points for West Ham on New Year’s Day & Surely Fat Sam Must Go

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.

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2779 days ago

Why has Fat Sam Allardyce not been fired?

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.

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2963 days ago

West Ham Season Ticket Renewal…Against My Better Judgement

I truly dithered about this one but already I find myself looking forward to a new season at Upton Park. I guess it is like dating. You break up with your bird (not that I have, as far as I know) after 8 months of pain and anguish. You were not having fun for a lot of the time and frankly sometimes she was just taking the piss with the sheer misery she inflicted on you. And she was pretty expensive too. Having a season ticket at West Ham can be like being forced to spend most Saturday afternoons heading round a shopping centre being forced to buy new clothes for the bird or worse still for you and then afterwards having to go to some overpriced vegetarian, alcohol free restaurant. The sheer misery of it all is interrupted only briefly when you find a new Ramones T-shirt to buy to add to the collection. But it is a rare moment of joy.

I stress that my partner inflicts none of this on me but I know that some birds regard that sort of thing as fun. And watching West Ham, knowing that you have forked out £650 for a season ticket can be like that.  Jeepers. Losing at home to Wigan in the Carling Mickey Mouse Cup. That was torture. The game at Reading on 29th December will long stay in my mind as a masterclass in making a ninth rate team look like Brazil.  But: You are my West Ham, my only West Ham you make me happy when skies are grey you’ll never know how much I love you until you take my West Ham away.

And so after you split up with one bird and enjoy a short break of freedom, of being allowed to wear clothes with holes in them and of being able to wash up dishes before you eat rather than afterwards, what do you do?

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3086 days ago

Ten things I am giving up for Lent & 10 things Chris Huhne will be giving up

Me first. How is this for restraint? I shall be giving up:

1. Reading the Guardian
2. Writing nice articles about Call Me Dave, New Labour and Chris Huhne
3. Giving money to the RSPCA
4. Thinking about stopping smoking or drinking less
5. Believing in global warming
6. Agreeing with the spin put out by the BBC News team
7. Cheering when Millwall or Spurs win at football
8. Campaigning for Britain to join the Euro
9. Tipping shares in Sefton Resources
10. Listening to new music produced by David Bowie

Ten Things Chris Huhne will be giving up for lent

1-7 – living in one of his houses
8. Having sex with bisexuals (well, female bisexuals anyway)
9.Using the Trouser Press he claimed on MP’s expenses
10. Driving any of his cars at any speed

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