West Ham musings by Pete May, author of Hammers in the Heart, West Ham:Irons in the Soul, Flying So High:West Ham's Cup Finals and Goodbye to Boleyn
Thursday, January 9
Six and the City
Manchester City 6 West Ham 0 (Capital One Cup)
Fraser, Matt, Lisa and myself are gathered in the Lucky Pub
in the West End. We’ve decided that even if West Ham get tonked it can still
retain its status as the Lucky Pub as we won’t technically lose the semi-final
until the end of the second leg.
West Ham actually force a couple of early corners, which we
aim straight at Pantilimon, before it reverts to ceaseless City pressure.
City’s first comes from a long ball from the half way line on 12 minutes.
Negredo has got between McCartney and O’Brien and expertly volleys home. Great
finish but much too simple a goal to concede. Soon it’s 2-0 as Dzeko and
Negredo combine for another crisp Negredo finish into the top corner.
Big Sam has his hood over his head and isn’t even bothering
to stand up and brave the rain on the touchline. His body language isn't inspiring. We can’t get near the City
players. Toure effortlessly swots our midfielders away, goes off injured, but
then returns to run from the halfway line. Hapless Roger Johnson backs off and
retreats so far he’s almost in Oldham before Toure fires home. I’m not sure
we’re going to get four in the second half.
“Can we sack Allardyce at half-time, it will only take 15
minutes,” ponders Fraser.
It doesn’t improve in the second half. The ineffective Maiga
is replaced by Carlton Cole. On 49 minutes Negredo completes his hat-trick
after Silva’s shot is blocked. Diarra replaces Noble who hasn’t looked fully
“I think the referee might score at this rate,” suggests
WE WANT OUR WEST HAM BACK
Full-backs Demel and McCartney are looking terribly slow
against a quality attack. It’s five when Dzeko shoots home from Silva’s cross.
Only a couple of brilliant saves from Adrian keep the score down. And poor Matt
is having to watch the game sober as he’s about to work the night shift.
The good-humoured West Ham fans turn on Allardyce and chant,
“we want our West Ham back!”
Inevitably City get six when Dzeko scores again with a great
finish from Kolarov’s cross. It’s Oldham and the Valentine’s Day Massacre all
over again. City have been brilliant, but we haven’t even begun to give them a
LUCKY TO GET NIL
On this evidence Allardyce looks as if he has lost the players as well as
the fans. He’s been unlucky with injuries, but there seems a lack of basic passing
ability and fighting spirit at City. Diame has gone backwards, Downing fluffed
what crosses he had, Joe Cole didn’t get into the game, Maiga didn’t close
defenders down and Taylor is nothing like the player he once was at Portsmouth,
while the defence was cut apart. And on top of this our captain isn’t there
because of a stupid sending off. Defeat at Cardiff will surely mean that Big
Sam is fired.
Nigel texts to say that CQ is very disappointed, as she had
already got the eggs and bacon in for our cup final breakfast in Kew.
The pub juke box plays Rhythm of the Rain by The Cascades,
the first record Fraser ever bought, and it seems rather apt on a night of sodden
desperation in Manchester. Wonder if we’ll get our £45 tickets refunded for the second
leg now? Nurse, the screens…