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WHUFC vs Manchester United 10/05/2016 EPL 2015-2016

May 11, 2016 1 comment

The 80’s are fashionable currently so I hear. Jordan 1’s are back in stores, as is garish gym gear. Women’s fashion seems to be very 80’s based currently and last week I swear I saw someone playing with a Rubik Cube on the train.

West Ham join in the revival and we get castigated ! I remember a time when smashing the opposition bus, having several thousand fans locked out the ground, starting the game an hour late, throwing bottles at their keeper (plus the obligatory, should be old enough to know better, pitch invader) ,  running a bar dry, and leaving the ground to make your way through riot police was a staple of most Saturdays. But now people just get hot about it.

OK I jest, but anyone who wasn’t there and has just read the websites and papers, and listened to Adrian Durham drone on (who wasn’t there either) will think (once again) WW3 broke out in Upton Park last night. I’m not condoning any of the above  (except the bar bit) but lets be real. Yes the streets were packed, yes loads of people without tickets were there, but a few idiots throw some bottles at a bus and it’s the ICF comeback. Nonsense. Absolute nonsense.

I spent about 5  hours there, and never heard a raised (angry) voice. But I heard many voices, all raised. The atmosphere was just something to behold. This fixture is always an occasion, but last night was off the chart. I was there for the last game of the South Bank, the North Bank and the West Stand, but this was something that will live with me forever.

All the stuff afterwards with the fireworks and all that, although I see some people liking it, isn’t for me and I scooted prior to the Rejects playing, which is a little annoying but like I say, that stuff isn’t for me

There was a video played on the screens, listing many of the players that had passed away but would technically been “young enough” to be there, and although John Lyall, and Graham Paddon were up there, obviously the big one was Sir Bobby Moore. The Man U fans spontaneously burst into a chant of his name. Class Act all round. It was that kind of night.

With all this going on there was a football game on as well, and although late, it was probably one of the best Premier League games of the season. Both teams still have their eye on 5th, and both put out very strong teams. Our nemesis, Mr Rooney, started for United which is usually ominous. But we seemed to contain him ,and he seemed a little off form, which doesn’t bode well for the Euros. Misplaced passes out wide were common place and we started to get the upper hand. For the first time in a long time we played two real strikers up top, I assume to keep the Utd centre backs busy, and it seemed to be paying off. Then Sakho bent one round De Gea from distance, and it was game on after  10 minutes. We had another chance when Carroll went clear from a great through ball from Payet but hit it straight at the keeper. Anyway, we held onto our lead to half time, and it looked like the dream night would happen. In the 2nd half Man U came out firing, and the wingers seem to be on their A game. In fact one of them, Mr Martial strolled though our defence to pick up a straight pass/cross and draw the visitors level. Did I expect it it ?  Yes. Did I expect a re run of the first 2 Swansea goals? No. Slaven needs to get the CB’s to work on position when there is an overlap, its just too easy for the opposition.

Soon after Martial got another one by getting into a stoppable position again, and the wheels were coming off. But the team fed off the incredible crowd, and in only 4 minutes, Antonio had equalised with a great header. Once again he had a set celebration ready, but Andy Carroll dragged him up the pitch. He knew it, we knew it, this was our night, and ours only, even if you are the most decorated team ever in the English game. Another 4 minutes, another goal, this time from the unlikely source of Winston Reid, whose other goal was pretty famous on the terraces as well, but will always now be the scorer of the last ever goal at The Boleyn.

We played out the last 10 minutes on the edge but for a change in control. So who won the game? The players played for the fans, the fans went berserk for the players, and Slaven was the architect. Did it mean as much to him as everyone else? Considering he was in tears at the final whistle, I think the answer was yes.

5th place is in the hands of others now, and I think the game at Stoke is a bit after the Lord Mayors show, so we have to see the shake out of FA Cups and UEFA cups to see if we get another shot in Europe in our new shed in season 1, but I for one will never forget this evening. Leaving earlier than most gave me a bit of time on my own taking one last look at the old girl and I left with a heavy heart, but hoping we can build this club on the potential that is now in place. Whether I will be along for the full ride will depend on how the new “experience” plays out, but I have my ticket, and we shall see.

Thanks for the memories, old girl..

MOTM: The Stadium and the Fans

 

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WHUFC vs Manchester Utd 13/04/2016 FA Cup Qtr Final Replay

April 13, 2016 2 comments

Gutted is not a word I have used at Football since Mr Gerrard smashed in a 40 yarder past us in Cardiff in the FA Cup Final in 2006. That was a game we had led and should have won, and one moment of brilliance meant FA Cup glory eluded the Hammers once more.

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WHUFC vs Manchester United EPL 08/02/2015

February 8, 2015 Leave a comment

First WHU blog of this year, as various work and personal stuff has kept me away from Upton Park for nearly 6 weeks. This post up until about 45 seconds from the end of the game was going to be based on the famous Norwegian “We beat your boys ” speech. However as we probably all know by now, Danny Blind , shinned in an equalizer in the dying seconds of the game.

Games ends one-one and 30 odd thousand WHU fans go home royally pissed.

That said Kouyate as well as scoring, played very well as a drafted in centre back. Everyone in fact played well including everyones favourite hammer, Kevin Nolan. Yep. He actually played well.

We have been talking about getting in centre backs as cover for ages, but no, we spend most of transfer deadline day pissing about lodging good strikers to buy pain in the backside strikers, and moving on wingers who have had no opportunities and then failed at all of the above. Hence today we play one of our best midfielders next to James Tomkins. And we still dont know what’s happening to Winston Reid. Well, we do but no one wants to admit it.

Our opponents today were the rejuvenated Man Utd. And to be honest they didn’t look a patch on previous teams I’ve seen over the years. Falcao will not be there next season based on his performance, not to mention missing a clear opportunity. Rooney cannot be enjoying playing the midfield with Van Persie, Falcao and Di Maria missfiring all over the place. Jones still doesn’t look good enough to lead the Man U defence and should be replaced at the earliest chance.

I’m sure in time we will respect the point, but at the moment, I feel as if we threw away 2 points. Even more annoying, is our opponents will feel they won a point. I did call a representative from Man U for a quote but unfortunately couldn’t get through so you will just have to believe me when I say they were lucky to get anything.

MOTM Kouyate, and hopefully WHU are back on the road to winning after our recent blips.

Pre match test of new phone

Pre match test of new phone

Another failed attack

Another failed attack

West Ham United vs Manchester United EPL 22/03/2014

March 22, 2014 Leave a comment

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So no surprises here. the game was like the weather at Upton Park today. Started bright and became dull and boring. Big Sam will complain massively about both goals, for alleged infractions. Wrong. The press will say Utd have turned the corner. Wrong. They were average at best. The press will also say Wayne Rooney scores a wonder goal. I would challenge that as well, as it was an open goal due to poor positioning of the WHU keeper, which Rooney did well to steer in from distance. His second was more luck than judgement, but you gotta be in it to win it, so fair play to him.

Why am I so down ? I’ll tell you why. We witness once of worst Man U displays ever last week, and since then both Vidic and Ferdinand are not in the starting line up as well (for differing reasons). What does Sam do? Same old bollocks of starting AC on his own, and Diame down the wing. No dynamism, no change to catch out a weak opposition, just the same old nonsense. I have had enough, and once this season is finished (about next week, assuming we win our next 2 against Hull and Sunderland), Sam needs to be moved on. Also the players Sam put out there today could not be bothered in the slightest. That alone is a disgrace. So they are comfortable with Sam and him with them. Time for a shake up. So Sam leaves and he can take his mates with him.

Who next then? Last year i wanted Gus Poyet, and would still back that up. Why not Slaven Bilic as an option? Whoever it is, I don’t think I could put up with another season of the same old thing. But i don’t make the decision, and if we do win our next 2 (and I think we will), Sam will be home and hosed, and ready for next year.

No West Ham player had a good game today, so i’ll go with Wazza for the MOTM.

WHUFC vs Manchester United 17/04/2013 EPL

April 17, 2013 Leave a comment

This years 4th tie against the Champions Elect (beats Birmingham !) was supposed to be a dead rubber as far as I was concerned. Sam had loads of defenders out. We can beat Wembley bound Wigan at the weekend to stay up, and Man U can do pretty much what they want to win the title.

So I was surprised to see Winston Reid back in the team, and Noble on the bench. Still one up top , but hey ho. Man U played probably their strongest available team as well, with both  Ferdinand and Vidic, and Rooney and Van Persie starting.

Talking of Rooney, you can tell what sort of game he will have within 3 minutes of kick off, and this was not going to be one to build his legacy. In fact he was awful, and my xmas prediction of him leaving this summer is starting to look nailed on. His attitude is all wrong for starters.

WHU were on top for a change from the off. The midfield seem to flow into attack nicely, and Jarvis was seeing plenty of the ball. RVT wasn’t but no issue there. United seemed to be taking it in their stride, but the did look frail.

I seem to be on the only one who spotted RVT drift in from the outside right to get on the end of Carroll’s flick on the open the scoring on 16 minutes.

And still WHU looked comfortable. But being WHU you just knew something was going to happen, and just before half time they all switched off, for United to put 3 or 4 perfect balls together, and end up with Valencia getting the equaliser. Just before the break was the only contentious point of the match (for me – see later), Rooney and Carroll had some handbags before a corner which the ref stopped. Carroll reacted when the corner was taken, by bludgeoning through both De Gea and Evra. Most odd behaviour. And no punishment.

I assume this was pointed out at half time, because early into the second half De Gea and big Andy both went for a ball which the Spaniard won but then dragged Carroll for about 10 feet by his neck before dumping him on the floor. Yellow Card for carroll, obviously !.

This spurred on Andy, he then tried a cheeky one from about 30 yrds out that went close, and then he won to ball for Diame to roast the poor Rooney and blast in a 20 yarder to give the Hammers the lead again in the 55th minute.

Rooney was subbed for Giggs and Sam decided to Sub off our midfield (because this worked so well against Liverpool !). Giggs and Kagawa were linking up well (until the little fella was subbed off for the other little fella Hernandez), and pressure was piling on WHU, and resulted with 14 mins to go an equaliser for United after Kagawa managed to hit James Collins and both posts with RVP netting the follow up. Apparently he was offside but in true Arsene style i have not seen it, so only one bit of contention for me tonight. We tried our best in the last 20 minutes to throw it away but eventually got it over the line and another point on the board and our second 2-2 against Man U this season.

The score was about right, with Jussi making some world class saves (as usual at the moment), and no one goes home unhappy, unless you count me queuing nearly 20 mins for a tube, while watch plonkers jump over fences and stewards doing nothing at all.

MOTM, could of been James Collins early on, Carroll for his effort, Jussi for the saves, but this time I’ll go for Diame, as he scored a screamer, kept most of the Man U midfield quiet all night (until subbed), and had he stayed on i think we might have edged it. Still not happy with BFS playing RVT but he scored tonight so what do i know !

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Worth every penny. Mohamed Diame

Manchester Utd vs WHUFC FACUP 3rd Round replay.

January 17, 2013 1 comment

As luck would have it I was working in Manchester the day after this game, so rather than watch on the telly, I ponied up the £45 quid and drove up to the icy Northern wastes of  England to my date at Old Trafford.

Old Trafford was nearly full with over 71000 including 5000 noisy Hammers. Thats a lot of dough to watch 2 teams not even close to putting out their first teams. I’m of the assumption Fergie thought he had enough, and Sam thought Man U was a one shot game, and so sent out the kids in Spence and Potts, and had the weakest midfield i’ve seen start a game for some years. One good thing was Reid getting the armband. The way he has played this season, he deserves it (there I said it)

The game started pretty quiet with WHU on the back foot. This is starting to become a worrying trend for WHU, and something stat happy Sam needs to look at.  So as expected after nine minutes, Hernandez crosses an easy pass for Rooney to sort out. One nil Man U.

This was a bit of an inconvenience, as the WHU fans were just getting into full voice (as no one else was) and were mid way through “Lets all do the Bartez”, when we had to take notice of the game. A small cheer from the 65000 + (!) utd fans, and then we got back into “who’s the w**nker in the white”. Now this was entertainment. Mr White was a guy in a white (surprise) jacket he enjoyed jumping up on his own to wave his arms about in response to the WHU fans songs. From what i understand, the Utd stewards are not big on “banter” or standing up. So despite that fact that about 20 ft away from Mr White there were 5000 WHU fans standing , our new friend got removed by the banter nazis, and was slung out to that well know East London ditty “He’s on a train back to London !”

Anyway, back to football. The first half played out a bit boring, with WHU looking a bit slow if I’m honest. RVT was bottling in a big way, and as I’ve said before, is not up to this level as yet.

Second half was way better with WHU moving the ball about, and Man U attacking in numbers as well. Potts and Spence came into the game well, especially Spence once he realised he could do Buttner 7 times out of 10. CC had a couple of chances and Diame started to get on things in the middle. Even Diarra seemed to be putting a shift in .

With about 20 to go Giggs rolled back the years and weaved through the WHU back line to have his cross met by Jordans Spence’s arm. It was ball to hand, but in front of the Stretford end what ya going to do ? So up steps Rooney and takes probably his last penalty for Man U, as he blasts it not just over, but Waddle circa 1990 over.

By this time Nolan and Collison were on and WHU smelt blood. For the last 15 we were on top and only some bad choices stopped us getting some shots off, as we were making spaces all over the Utd box. Best chance fell to Matt Taylor who was becoming more influential. All he needed to do was pass to CC (8 ft away) who was clear in front of goal, but he took on a shot that hit the side netting. Fergie noticed he was starting to dictate the game, and so put Paul Scholes on, who made it his first job to chop Taylor in half, and only pick up a yellow, which would of been a red card in any other ground. Not really my style to moan like that, but that’s how it was. Happy to have the debate as i would love to hear the defence ! Just as well he’s retiring again, as this season he is ruining a hard won reputation with fans outside of the red half of Manchester.

Elliot Lee made his debut in the last 10. I’m sure Dad Rob will be proud.

Anyway, game ends one nil ,and overall not a bad performance from the Hammers, but they really need to sort this 1st 10 minutes business out.

Oh and it was bloody cold.

MOTM. Didn’t looked phased by the venue, and is getting better every week, and now starting to show some skill to go with the basics. Dan Potts. Closely followed by Jordan Spence

The view from the away end in Manchester Village.

The view from the away end in Manchester Village.

Retire son, and keep your reputation.

Never Touched Him Ref !. Absolute joke.

WHUFC vs Manchester Utd FA CUP 3rd Round 05/01/2012

January 5, 2013 1 comment

FA CUP 3RD Round

FA CUP 3RD Round

 

Illness meant I had to give up my ticket for todays game, but watching it on the telly allows me a better blog, if albeit a little disjointed.

So just after Xmas, JC makes his appearance at Upton Park. Joe Cole make his return the the club that taught him his craft. This time though he is a WHU player meaning if he scores, its not so much of an issue this time!

Man U are Rooneyless today, and my condolences go out to Coleen on losing her younger sister thus weekend. However with RVP on the bench and Hernandez and Wellbeck starting they obviously fancy their chances. Vidic comes back in, and Scholes gets a rare start. Fergie has  picked a strong team, and i feel they are the slight favourites.

Dan Potts and Joe Cole go straight into the team. Dan was a solid player when required last year and hopefully will be the same this term. JC could be the difference for a mostly flat looking WHU midfield. Nolan and Collins return from suspension today, meaning no starts for Joey O’Brien, scorer of the winner earlier in the week or Mark Noble, the other scorer in the game against Norwich. Collison and Diarra have also come in to the starting line up, suggesting Sam’s not that fussed regarding the tie, but does need players getting game time. However the fans will demand a decent display.

One bit of interest for me, is whether Vaz Te turns up or bottles against stronger players.

We get underway, and the opening exchanges are all Man U, with WHU getting their first kick after Jussi comes out to collect a pass (1.35 mins). Not looking great for WHU. After 5 mins they have not had a meaningful touch of the ball, suggesting the Hammers might get some sort of hiding here. Hernandez should of scored on 8.30 after a good cross from Smalling following an excellent cross ball from Scholes.

Vidic makes a massive save with an intercepting header from CC after a rare WHU attack led to a corner. After the first 10 minutes the game starts to open, and Jack Collison tries his chances from 30 yrds, just going over.

Just before the 20 minute mark, Dan Potts makes a classic goal line clearance from a Man U corner. That will do his confidence no harm at all. On 22 Man U open the scoring as expected, with a good cross from Hernandez finding Cleverly on his own to take an easy finish. Paul Scholes gets a booking just after for his 2nd cynical challenge of the game.

On 26 minutes Joe Cole crosses in an innocuous ball post a free kick, and finds James Collins who nods in well past De Gea to equalise. No one more surprised than me !! One one. JC has seemed to move over to the right, and swapped with Vaz Te and seems to be getting purchase.

Vidic is lucky not to give away a pen with a shove on Nolan just after the half hour mark. On 35 Danny Wellbeck makes a great breakaway post a WHU corner only to shoot straight into Jussi. Collison picks up a yellow for a Scholesesqe challenge on Rafael.

As the game winds up towards half time Utd are still on top but not to the level they were early on. One observation is Smalling doesn’t look to confortable at right back, he has knocked a forward pass out for a throw or goal kick three or four times. Just on half time CC powers through Vidic to pass to JC but just puts its behind him.

The 2nd half starts as you would expect, but with not a lot happening. On 56 CC goes close from another JC cross. Then on 59 JC throws in another great cross for Collins .2-1 WHU, well well.

First sub is made on 60 with Jarvis coming on for RVT. Question really is how long before Van Persie comes on for Utd. The answer is about 7 minutes when he comes on with Valencia, for Hernandez and Scholes.

On 72 Diarra comes off for Mark Noble. Hopefully he can sure up the middle of the park. The game goes a bit cold if I’m honest and Giggs comes on at 77. Joe Cole leaves the field at the same time to a standing ovation.

Back to back corners for utd on 80 were dealt with but you could tell WHU were getting more edgy.  Matt Jarvis made a good run past Vidic, and encouraged a yellow card from the Utd skipper.

On 87 CC went so close after Nobes cushioned the ball back into Matt Taylor who moved it on to CC.  Just as we head into Fergie time, up pops Van Persie as expected, to equalise after a great ball from Giggs.

Roll on a week for a replay at Old Trafford. United to go through. WHU had their chance today.

MOTM: Joe Cole was superb, CC played his arse off. Potts was magnificent. But James Collins scored 2 important goals for the hammers, so it goes to him. For Utd, Vidic was great against Cole all day, but his bit of madness on Jarvis took the edge off.