Sunday, October 25

Stick your blue flag up your…

West Ham 2 Chelsea 1

Inside the Newham Bookshop Vivian has a Danny Dyer signing to plug before the WBA game on Nov 29 and signed copies of Elvis Costello’s new book Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink, complete with valuable advice for today’s game in I Don’t Want To Go To Chelsea. Then it’s on to Ken’s Café where there’s much debate about who bought the ceramic model of Ken’s Café from the V&A for £150. Michael the Whovian has been to see Jo Grant, aka Katy Manning at the Kings’ Head, while there’s even a fleeting appearance from DC with his wee men, telling us to cut down on the sugar and processed meat.

The game kicks off with rousing versions of Bubbles, “Stick your Blue flag up your arse!” and a certain song about John Terry’s mum. Good to hear a proper atmosphere inside Upton Park. Payet wins a free kick on the edge of the box after 16 minutes. The French magician takes it himself and Begovic tips it over the bar. From Payet’s corner Costa slices across goal and Zarate sends a crisp first time shot into the bottom corner. Upton Park explodes and it’s vindication of Bilic’s decision to pick Zarate in place of the ineligible Moses. That’s Zarate’s fourth goal of the season and credit to Bilic for finally rejuvenating his career.

Mourinho is taunted with, “Your getting sacked in the morning!” and “That’s why you’re going down!” West Ham should make it two when an outrageous backheel from Payet plays in Lanzini, who chips over the bar. Matic is booked for a professional foul on Kouyate, but Chelsea come back into it. Zouma has a header cleared from behind the line by Lanzini (technology proves the ball wasn’t completely over the line) and then Chelsea break from a West Ham corner. Fabregas nets, but is ruled marginally offside by a knee and shoulder.

Matic then receives a second yellow for pulling back Sakho and Fabregas and Terry are booked protesting. Chelsea lose any semblance of discipline as first coach Silvino Lauro is dismissed by referee Jon Moss (a better ref than Culture Club drummer) and then at half-time Mourinho is dismissed to for visiting the referee’s room and generally being paranoid. “F**k off Mourinho!” is the verdict of the Bobby Moore Stand.

“One-nil up against ten men with no manager, what could possibly go wrong?” I quip to Nigel as he munches on his half-time lucky banana.

Ominously ten-man Chelsea do improve after the break. Cahill equalises on 56 minutes, turning quickly on a loose ball from a corner. At this point Chelsea look the likelier winners and we’d take the point. But Bilic rejigs things by bringing on Carroll  for Zarate with 21 minutes to go. Payet raises hopes with a couple of brilliant feints and then some great showboating as he flicks the ball over the head of a defender and shoots into touch.

Sakho has worked immensely hard, as always, and closes down Begovic to force a corner with 11 minutes left. Payet’s cross is hoofed up in the air by a defender and the ball comes to Cresswell. The left back sends in a superb cross and Andy Carroll rises above Sakho and Cahill to power home a header. In that position he’s unstoppable. Andy races towards our corner to slide onto the turf and be engulfed by his teammates. They’ll be dancing in the streets of Brentwood tonight.

There’s a hugely celebratory mood now as the Bobby Moore Stand bounces up and down to “Stick your blue flag up your arse!’ and then “We’ve got Payet, Dimitri Payet, I just don’t think you understand…” Though Billy Ray Cyrus expert Fraser says they haven’t got the tempo of Achy Breaky Heart quite right.

We were all optimistic last season after beating Liverpool and Man City, but the thought occurs that perhaps this West Ham side be on the verge of something special. And it’s also poignant that this is the last time we’ll ever tell Chelsea where to place their blue flag at the Boleyn.

There’s four minutes of added time and with a minute to go I have to make a dash for the tube to try to get the 5.45 train to Cardiff for a wedding reception (who gets married on a football day, eh?) There’s a chorus of, “We can see you sneaking out!” from the lads. But the huge cheer from the stadium tells its own story.

I don’t make the 5.45 train as there’s a long halt due to “a passenger being taken ill at Farringdon.” “It must be Mourinho!” suggests a fellow passenger. Matt texts that the Central have got their tactics all wrong by having no staff, while I celebrate on the 6.45 train with a pint of London Porter.

Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City and now Chelsea. A great day for the Hammers. Though I still think Chelsea are too good to go down…

PLAYER RATINGS: Adrian 7; Jenkinson 7, Tomkins 8, Collins 8, Cresswell 7; Payet 9, Lanzini 8 (Obiang 6), Kouyate 8, Noble 7, Zarate 8 (Carroll 8); Sakho 7.


Anonymous said...

How about the team bus display the badges of all our premiership rivals...with X splashed over the vanquished.

mj said...

It was a good day. Bit weird though, the way Chelsea controlled the half hour after half time with 10 men and kept the ball better than us. That said, who cares..we won!!

Pete May said...

Good idea about the team coach. Match of the Day pointed out we did index stand off them in the second half MJ, until Bilic told thyme to press them more and bought on Carroll. Could have been different on Zouma's header had gone over but still, we beat the Champions!

Anonymous said...

west ham wankers...