Wednesday, December 3

We're gonna win the league!

West Brom 1 West Ham 2

A season ago this was the sort of game we'd lose 1-0. It looked like it might happen again after the unmarked Dawson rose to head Albion ahead. Yet the character in this West Ham side showed through again with Nolan getting a poacher's goal after Carroll's overhead kick was saved. Then in first-half added time James Tomkins headed home Downing's corner for his first goal in two years. The second half sounds like one of the grittier performances from last season, with the Hammers having little possession but defending resolutely. But we'll take that while Noble, Sakho, Song and Valencia (though he did come on in the second half) are not in the starting line-up. Last season a few West Ham fans held up that "Fat Sam Out Killing WHU" banner. This season they were chanting, "We're gonna win the league!" and "Barcelona we're coming for you!"

Twenty four points… we're almost safe! Texted the result to Matt, holidaying in the heights of Quito, Equador, where Mr and Mrs Valencia will presumably be dancing in the streets, and looking forward to the highlights on Match of the Day tonight. We're only two points behind Southampton in third spot and three points behind Man City in second place. How times change.

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