Sunday, February 3

Der der der der der der, Andy Carroll!

West Ham 1 Swansea City 0

In Ken’s Café Nigel and CQ have returned from a mini-break in New York on a morning flight just to see the soccer. Will WHU make their jet-lag even worse? My daughters are pleased to see the chip service back to its normal prompt service as Michael the Whovian arrives to announce that Wendy Padbury, who played Zoe, companion to Patrick Troughton in Doctor Who, is in the Who Shop on Barking Road.

We disappear to catch a glimpse of the well-preserved Padbury (that shot of Padders draped over the Tardis console as it drifted through time and space had a profound effect on many Whovians of a certain age) signing posters and then buy a Matt Smith t-shirt for the 18th birthday of Charlotte, my pal Paul’s Whovian daughter in Brighton.

Then it’s in to the stadium and the Welsh end singing away. Diame gets an early shot away. Lola looks at Leon Britton and wonders why Swansea are so small. And where has Ricardo Vaz Te's hair gone? She's been to see Les Miserables twice at the cinema and once at the theatre, and thinks Victor Hugo might help with our defensive barricades. 

"Will they do the Cruyff turn?” asks Nell, having studied it as part of her PE homework. “You need Johan Cruyff for that!” suggests Matt. Indeed Johan is probably about the right age to sign for the Hammers now. 

Bizarrely, the Hammer who then does a Cruyff-like turn is Joey O’Brien, who bamboozles a defender to run down the wing and cross for Nolan to shoot low against Tremmel. It's a fine save.

It’s a scrappy first half, Swansea pass it nicely but don’t seriously threaten and the Irons create the few chances. Andy Carroll produces a great cushioned header for Kevin Nolan who fires low only to be foiled by another excellent stop from the German reserve keeper Tremmel. Then Diame finds Vaz Te who produces a long-range effort that stings Tremmel’s fingers.

Vaz Te has another long-range effort and Jarvis crosses and Carroll flashes a good chance over the bar. It looks like we’ll never score. Winston Reid does well to win the ball back for Carroll who produce a fine right foot shot that Tremmel deflects with his feet, Reid crosses it back in and Diame volleys over. Joe Cole replaces Jarvis.

Is Nigel just pleased to see us or is that a banana in his pocket? He resists the temptation to throw the skin on the pitch after enjoying his snack. Then CQ produces her lucky aniseed balls, which Nell hates but Lola likes.

CQ’s lucky aniseed balls work. Mark Noble wins and then takes a corner. Andy Carroll rises brilliantly to beat a defender and power a header down into the net. The stadium erupts and the Geordie with the dodgy Barnet looks genuinely elated as he runs to our corner and is engulfed by his teammates. Kevin Nolan moves faster than he has all season to leap on his old mate.

“Der der der der der der, Andy Carroll!” chants a relieved Upton Park.

We endure a nervous final ten minutes as the Irons sit back and Jussi had to make a fine low save from De Guzman and then keep out a header from Chico Flores with one hand.

Big Sam has to bring on Pogatetz and O’Neil to waste some time. We take the ball into the corner and then it’s all over and Twist and Shout on the PA.

Phew. Thirty points. A big, big win and a fine team performance. Encouragingly our defence is looking solid and Taylor has an energetic game at left-back. Tomkins is much better, O’Brien looks more at home on the right, Diame is busy. Big Sam is over his dental work. Nolan is getting chances again and Andy Carroll has lasted ninety minutes and made things happen. If we can keep the big man fit we can salvage mid-table security.


Richard Tomlin said...

I see Jamie Carragher is retiring. I never liked him. He couldn't get into the England team because he wasn't good enough. Instead of fighting for his place he sulked and withdrew from international selection. Pathetic.
I will never forget the match in 2008 when he fouled Freddie Ljungberg in injury time and Mark Noble scored the pen. 1 - 0. Happy days. Good riddance .

Pete May said...

I recall Zavon Hines outpacing him a few years ago... Good player once but agree he should have stuck it out with England as Robert Green did, despite not playing that often.