Monday, March 23

We'll play the wild Rovers no more…

Blackburn 1 West Ham 1

Arriving home from the playground at Finsbury Park expecting a dour 2-0 defeat it’s a pleasant surprise to find we’ve garnered another away point on our march toward the Europa Cup.

Match of the Day reveals that although Blackburn have had most of the game we’ve defended stoutly (the influence of Steve Clarke?) and broken away to take the lead.

Noble makes a great tackle in his own half to race forward to play the ball wide to Luis Boa Morte. The Boa finds Tristan who lays the ball off to Nobes who with the outside of his foot slides the ball into the corner of the net. Boa Morte might be marginally offside in the build-up but Sam Allardyce seems to think it’s an injustice right up there with the UK sanctioning torture.

Rovers equalise early in the second half when a clearance falls nicely for Andrews to shoot home first-time. Diouf has two “goals” disallowed for offside, both correctly. And at the end Kieron Dyer (remember him?) on as a late sub, has his shirt pulled and is hauled to the ground in the penalty area. The referee ignores a clear penalty.

Overall a great point for the Hammers, without our spine of Cole, Upson, Collins, Behrami and Collison. What’s most pleasing is that James Tomkins is starting to mature and take responsibility at the back with one goal conceded in four games and we’ve blooded another Academy product in Josh Payne. The downside is that the Observer’s fan at the game gave Diego Tristan three out of ten and he’s surely a veteran signing too far.

And at least no-one has sued us today, as yet. Admittedly Fulham threatened to get their writs out on Friday, but Neil Warnock claims in the Indie that he simply told reporters that he would consider the legal implications of the Tevez judgement, so might not proceed.

The writs might hit the fans, but we keep marching on to a Europa tour minus XL flights. Carlton Cole and James Collins will be available for our next game against the Mackems, and maybe even Kieron Dyer if he doesn’t trip over an isotonic sports drink in training…

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