Tuesday, November 4

Any old irons

Manchester United 2 West Ham 0

We’re in Edinburgh for my kids’ half-term holiday, watching the game on Sky Sports News. With Cole suspended, Ashton out until at least the new Year, the Irons are going to struggle for height up front and the forward line of Di Michele and Bellamy looks decidedly lightweight. Neill is still out and so is Noble. In fact we could be in as much trouble as Russell Brand.

Paul Walsh’s early bulletins from Old Trafford describe “one-way traffic”. All the excitement is coming from Phil Thompson at the Arsenal versus Spurs match — he’s yelping and screaming, causing great disturbance to the team of ageing old-pro pundits around him. Walsh reveals that Ronaldo is roasting Faubert. After 20 minutes we’re 1-0 down through Ronaldo, of course, sweeping in a Nani cross.

After half an hour Ronaldo scores again following what Walshy describes as a sublime piece of byline skill from Berbatov, that bamboozles Collins and sets up the Portugeezer. Just before half time Behrami is stretchered off and — words every West Ham fan now dreads — into the fray comes Luis Boa Morte. We’re looking at a tonking.

Mercifully United relax in the second half. Walshy looks increasingly bored as Phil Thompson gets more excited than Russell Brand on heat with any old Irons’ grandaughter. Oh, and Walsh says Boa Morte has just failed to control the ball when played through to fluff our best chance.

It’s only 2-0 but we’ve now lost four games in a row. Lose at Boro on Saturday and it’s five. And the fire-sale to come. Crisis club West Ham, anyone? It’s almost temping to ring up Andrew Sachs and join Jonathan Ross in a three-month suspension.

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