Wednesday, December 10

Two-nil in our cup final…

West Ham 0 Tottenham 2

Two cars are overturned in separate accidents, one possibly fatal, near the Bow flyover on the way to Upton Park. DC is driving, picking up Alastair and myself. He’s left it late and now we’re marooned in tailbacks.

We arrive at 7.55 and jog from Plashett Road to the stadium. Alastair is moving quicker than Dean Ashton, but DC stops for some chips, and then moves on to Ken’s CafĂ© where his mate hasn’t turned up to collect a spare ticket. The night hasn’t started well.

I’m in my seat with only one and a half minutes gone, but Tottenham have already missed a good chance by then. Harry has received a mixed reception. Part-timer Nigel is missing, inexplicably spending his birthday with his his wife in a spa hotel in Dorset rather than E13. Oh, and we have a new sponsor, a betting company called Just the thing for Matty Etherington.

"They get most of the players wages already," suggests Fraser.

We play some pretty passing football in the first half but never look anywhere near scoring. A Bellamy shot well wide is our best effort. Spurs go closest when Lennon crosses and Pavlyuchenko fires against a post.

“Faubert would have put that it in,” quips Matt.

In the second half we start to drop off even more. Modric looks dangerous in the hole and Lennon’s pace is troubling Ilunga. The crowd do their best with a rousing “Claret and blue army”. But Spurs threaten even more and lok a good passing side under Redknapp. Then King rises above two defenders to nod Lennon’s cross down into the ground and up over Green. Bloody Tottenham. “One-nil in your cup final!” chant the away fans.

You can’t see us scoring. Zola brings on Noble and Di Michele. Carlton Cole is having one of those games where his headers go everywhere but to a man.

“It’s like watching Dowie and his threepenny bit head again,” I groan.

We have a good penalty shout for handball, but it’s ignored. We need a little bit of route one, anything to test the dodgy Gomez. We look like a side that’s totally shot. Football purity is one thing, but Curbishley could gather points.

Matt ups the swearing quotient in a desperate bid for an equaliser. “Di Michele is having a mare. He’s wearing the wrong ****ing boots! What's the point in bringing on Tristan for eight minutes? He's got no idea!"”

Then in the 88th minute Gomez of all people makes a superb double save from Neill and Di Michele. Spurs go straight down the other end and score through a long distance effort from O’Hara. Game over.We've scored three goals in nine games.

On the way home in DC’s car, with Alastair and Jo, DC is tirading from his driver’s seat: “Where is the creative player who can change the game for us? You name a top ten side and they have one. We don’t.” He’ll be phoning up Talk Sport next.

We start to talk about our injured players. Ashton, Dyer, Gabbidon, et al. “It’s like the old print industry. There’ll be players on our books that everyone will have forgotten about, signing on as Mickey Mouse,” says Jo. I imagine someone opening a cupboard and finding Danny Gabbidon or Luis Boa Morte still there in 30 years time. Their sons will probably be guaranteed a job on our treatment table too.

It’s been a bad evening, ending with more jams in Dalston. And West Ham too appear to be gridlocked.


martincloake said...

Give it a few weeks and there will be another crisis and another crisis club, Pete. We had it earlier this season, now it's your turn. A month ago Gomes was "the worst keeper ever", now he's a "double-save hero". The important thing is not to crow over rivals' misfortune too soon (are you listening Danny Dyer – pwoper nawty). We'll see how it pans out at the end of the season. And at least the home crowd wasn't signing A*****l songs this time - surely an Upton Park low point.

Failing all that, we can kick it off in the tower block next term!

Pete May said...

Cheers, mate. It did make you realise that Terry Brown should never have sacked Redknapp, though. Cole and Bellamy don't seem to be able to play together and we're very predictable under Zola. And we're great at restoring the confidence of opposition players like Gomez. Much depends on surviving the transfer window with Green and Upson still there, giving kids like Collison and Sears a chance and buying a creative midfielder who can beat men. Oh and scoring goals. But hopefully we're better than WBA, Blackburn and Stoke.