Saturday, October 15

Baldock spirit

West Ham 4 Blackpool 0

Where were you when we were sick? Fraser texts to say that he has a stomach upset and can’t make the game. Nigel is hoarse and ailing after too much heavy living attending Ritchie Blackmore old English music gigs. Matt simply holds up a post-it note reading “I have lost my voice” and “the referee’s a tinker!”

It’s an interesting line-up with Noble dropped for the first time, no Cole and Carew and Baldock up front. Our nerves are calmed after 12 minutes when Gustave Faubert curls in a lovely cross for John Carew to rise above Hill and head home.

Blackpool blast a free kick hopelessly over the bar, but otherwise hardly trouble Almunia. Baldock and Carew are thwarted by good saves from Gilks.

Carew shows surprising skill on the ground for a big man, while Baldock is a nagging presence at the shoulder of the Pool defenders. Though ref Andy D’Urso seems to penalise our strikers for the slightest touch and shows no grasp of the advantage rule when Collison is clean through. Matt would be swearing at him if only he could speak. Diop gets some good tackles in and though his distribution is sometimes poor, he looks a difficult lump to get past.

Amazingly we score three goals in seven minutes after the break, Baldock calmly beats the keeper having latched on to Taylor’s header and sprung the offside trap. Four minutes later Carew causes further consternation and Baldock bundles home another poacher’s goal, and on 55 minutes Collison fires home a deflected drive after another Gilks’ parry.

“How shit must you be we’re winning at home?” comes the chant from the Bobby Moore Stand.

“Game of the century,” I text to Fraser.

Matt scrawls several illegibible messages on his post-it notes.

"Matt should have been a doctor," suggests Nigel.

We then have three further good chances in the next five minutes. Baldock has a shot saved by Gilks’ legs and Carew tries to curl one in the corner rather than pass to Baldock who is free. Good to see that Baldock has the confidence to give the experienced striker some stick for his decision.

With Blackpool’s defence looking worse than Liam Fox’s, West Ham then relax, which is a shame as goal difference might prove vital. But 4-0 without ever playing brilliantly will do me. It still seems very quiet without Matt lambasting the ref. We’re so relaxed that while looking at George McCartney, Nigel is able to joke that he hears Paul McCartney’s new marriage is in trouble as he’s noticed that he’s having to buy twice as many shoes for his new wife as he did for his last. Arf, arf.

Fraser texts back to say that the stomach bug has sent his blood pressure is up and if he’d had to have four celebratory cigars it would have been killed him.

Then it’s off to the Black Lion with Matt and Mike O’Brien for a celebratory pint of Maldon Gold. Matt even recovers his voice thanks to the rejuvenating ale. Just as well as otherwise it would be like having a pint with Marcel Marceau. We go second as well. A nice set-up for the big game at Southampton on Tuesday.


matt said...

I have to say that Maldon Gold did work very well for medicinal purposes. Back in the 70s West Ham players used to spend most of their time in the Black Lion - perhaps Big Sam should send them there for some Maldon Gold to help with our injury list, which is getting bad again. O'Neill and Bentley out for the season; Green, O'Brien, Cole, Demel never getting fit, Tomkins, Taylor, Lansbury. At least Collison looked to be getting back to his best.

Not sure how much we can really tell from Blackpool, as their defence was so bad. Southampton tomorrow should really let us know how optimistic we should be. They have won about 16 in a row at home I think, so a draw would be decent.

Pete May said...
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Pete May said...

Yes, Mooro and Harry used to enjoy the Black Lion more than we do. Southampton will be a better test. But Carew and Baldock looked a promising partnership and Reid and Tomkins had good games at the back.

According to Sullivan on Claret and Blue e-mag Demel is a fantastic player, so he might help solve our injury problems at right-back and right midfield.

Phil Nichols said...

It was anorther strange match & difficult to guage whether we won so convincingly because we were very good or Blackpool were utter rubbish. Maybe both. Carew and Baldock do indeed look a promising combination. I was also impressed by Boba Diop who looked very calm and broke up a lot of what Blackpool had to offer, which was not not much. Still he did it well. It was interesting watching Holloway who seemed to argue with the 4th official about everything, including decisions which seemed to go in Blackpool's favour. A strange day.....

Pete May said...

Agree about Diop, Phil. He reminded me a bit of Marc Vivian Foe. A big ball winner makes a change after Parker and Noble for the last few seasons. I'll be happy with a draw tonight too, but if we win we go top and I'll really believe we can go straight back up.