Monday, May 23

That's why we're going down…

West Ham 0 Sunderland 3

No tubes again, so it’s the usual forced march from West Ham station to Green Street. After this season we are certainly fit to wear the shirt, unlike several of the team. Amazingly 32,000 fans have turned up to see a dead rubber (or should that be dead parrot?).

“Are you up for a trip to the Black Lion?” asks Nigel in Ken’s Cafe.

“Can we go now?” quips Matt.

At least Carol is happy with Ken’s Café’s mention in the Observer's end-of-season round-up. Big Joe, a promoter, is impressed by the WHU end-of-season gala. “When we organize fights we normally book them for the end of the evening, not 9.15!”

Kevin Keen has picked a youthful side and there’s no place for Ba and Cole (apparently injured) while substitute Scotty Parker receives his Hammer of the Year award before kick off.

There’s a strange atmosphere of resignation from the home fans and it feels like watching a training match.

Sears at least looks interested in the early stages, forcing a save with a snap shot. Hitzlsperger has a shot that rebounds from the keeper with no striker following in and Hines fluffs a one-on-one, before Sunderland take the lead. Elmohamady’s cross is headed by the unmarked Zenden and lopes over the helpless Green.

“Keen out!” I suggest.

Just before half-time Piquionne crosses and a smart turn and shot from Zavon Hines sees Mignolet make a great save. We retreat into the East Stand to discuss potential managers. Bizarrely, Carlo Ancellotti is reported as saying he’d manage us in the News of the World.

“Neil Lennon must want a break from Glasgow,” suggests Fraser.

“And he’s used to people abusing him,” I add.

“David Blunkett’s in line for job because he knows how to hold a lead,” suggests Nigel.

At least Keen maintains the Avram Grant tradition of being worse after the interval.

Sessegnon is given more space than a district line track engineer as he strolls through our parting midfield to fire home from distance. Possibly Green should have done better.

Parker comes on, to chants of "We've only got one man!", but our performance is devoid of passion. There’s chants of, “We’re going to Coventry!” and then an impromptu conga in the Chicken Run.

With the last kick of the game our defence melts away again and Riveros, previously a flop for Sunderland, fires home. A fitting way to end the season.

“That’s why we’re going down!” chants a mournful Bobby Moore Stand.

The best part of the day is the Adnams in the Black Lion. Gavin turns up with some Silesian sausages, which sounds like something from Doctor Who. “They’re 100 per cent pork,” he declares. Best result of the season for the Gav. Meanwhile we have a team of Silesian sausages.

Thank goodness it’s over. At last we can rest — at least until August when we’re sure to be playing Doncaster or Barnsley away. All we need is a manager and a team.

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