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
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.
SACKED IN THE MORNING!
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
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
DER DER DER ANDY CARROLL!
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 Carrollfor 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. HE'S BETTER THAN ZIDANE…
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…