Monday, November 2

Two-nil and we f•••ed it up...

Sunderland 2 West Ham 2

Oh no, we’re winning 2-1 against ten men. Nothing worse than hope when you're a West Ham fan. Collecting my daughter from her friend Maya’s house I catch the scores on Sky Sports News. Now I have to wait 30 minutes watching helplessly with Maya’s dad, a similarly panic-induced Plymouth fan bemused to be winning at Boro.

Matt’s texted to say he’s on a mini-break in the Vatican seeking a miracle. My suggestion is he says ten hail Di Canios if it gets us an away win. Inevitably Sunderland then equalize and I’m tortured by catholic guilt. There’s a report every few minutes detailing nerve-tingling escapes for the Irons. Thankfully for Matt we hold on for an away pontiff. Although he says he wants to crucify the lot of them and our defence resembles the Walls of Jerico.

After trick or treating with the kids in a Cyberman mask Match of the Day reveals a strange team selection after the Arsenal game, with super subs Diamanti and Hines still on the bench.

We play well in the first half as Collison plays in Franco for the Mexican to score from close range, a reward for the manager’s faith. Even better Collison then wins the ball to play in Cole who sidesteps a defender to slot home like an England centre forward.

But then Jones raises his hand to Ilunga’s face and the defender writhes on the floor like a man who’s just seen Nick Griffin on Halloween night. The sending off is technically correct though, even if Herita’s histrionics are unnecessary. That seems to fire ten-man Sunderland and after Kovac fouls on the edge of the box, Reid fires a fantastic free kick into the top corner to make it 1-2 at half time.

Franco goes close with a header early in the second half, but after that it’s all Sunderland. Green makes two excellent saves and then the Makems hit the bar in quick succession. Finally a cross takes a wicked deflection off Upson and falls perfectly for Richardson to score.

Zola says we “need to be more cynical” and it’s clear we have forgotten how to close up a game. But, as they say, we’d have taken a point at the start.

Is it lack of character or the loss of Neill and the suspended Parker that cost us the win? Ilunga is out of form and Spector tries his best but is not the answer. Perhaps there’s a case for bringing in Gabbidon and putting Tomkins at right-back? Or trying out Da Costa again? Or even giving Bondz N'Gala a chance?

Still, Sunderland are a much improved team and perhaps we’ll be grateful for an away point come May. If we can avoid defeat against Villa and beat Burnley then we just might be looking upwards again.


Paul Jeffrey said...

Dear Peter

I couldn't find a contact email for you so I hope you don't mind that I'm posting here.

I thought you might like this: http://www.no1fan,co,uk

We are introducing the West Ham No.1 Fan later this month, It's an official West Ham product and will hopefully raise a smile with your readers.

The chants were recorded with a season ticket holding Hammer and we think it's our best No.1 Fan yet.

Any feedback would be very welcome.

Kind regards

Paul Jeffrey
No.1 Fan

Paul Jeffrey said...
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