Wednesday, September 24

Up the Junction

Watford 1 West Ham 0

We’ve lost £30 million and we’re out of the Carling Cup. Oh well, another day at West Ham. And we thought this season might be boring.

At least the Carling Cup defeat was softened by beer, white wine and a stuffed pepper thanks to our party (Iain, Alastair, Jo, Mike and Matt) blagging a box at Watford. You do have to wear a suit, but a nice touch is the fact they ring a bell for the start of each half as if it’s the theatre.

Among the prawn sandwich set we accosted England goalkeeping coach Ray Clemence, there to watch Watford’s Scott Loach, and explained to him and his Missus why Robert Green should be his number one. So expect Greeny to be an England fixture from now on.

Also observed in the boardroom was ex-Hammers chairman Terry Brown, the man in charge when we signed Tevez and Mascherano. A somewhat surprising day on which to appear in public.

It was a typical early round Carling Cup fixture. Our away support was as ever excellent, but vast sections of the ground were empty. Lastuvka made a fantastic one-handed save and looked a solid keeper until his misjudging of a cross caused Mullins’ own goal. Watford’s young side competed better than we did and dived into tackles and their winger Lionel Ainsworth looked a player with a big future. Boa Morte was terrible again, Sears still looks lightweight and Di Michele anonymous apart from one dribble to set up Noble for a shot that was well saved.

We improved when Parker came on, Lopez curled in some dangerous crosses, Etherington missed a free header, Faubert hit a free kick just over and Matty Upson hit the bar. But as the home end chanted “Yellow Army!” and “Premiership — you’re having a laugh!” and “Premiership — you fucked it up!” the inevitable happened and we lost to lower league opposition.

We retreated through the gloom to Watford Junction station with 10-year-old Watford fans chanting “Where’s your sponsor gone?’ at us.

Out of another trophy and thoroughly embarrassed to lose to the somewhat effete-sounding Yellow Army, aka the Golden Boys. We were not the only people going up the Junction — it might be the club as well.

No comments: