Harinder's West Ham Preview.

Posted by Hinesy on December 6, 2012, 11:47:07 PM

West Ham United. The Hammers. Knees up Mother Brown, Pearly Kings and Queens and them softies The Krays. You couldn’t get a club more East London if you tried is what they would say out in Essex! The club that launched some people’s careers whilst sinking others in Iceland a few years back. I almost could have been a West Ham fan in my life but that is for a different day and a different story (coming soon to a RAWK forum near you rated PG). It was 90 secs that changed my life and stopped me from being a West Ham fan and I am forever indebted to the divine powers that intervened that fateful day (even if I was tortured and traumatised).

Early memories of them?

Other than purple, some old players such as Sir Trevor Brooking and Billy Bonds and blowing bubbles I don’t have much more. Tony Cottee I guess too and for balance Alvin Martin. A Merseysider born and bred and then just kind of went down south and never came back. I’m going with people who’ve played for them since I’ve been alive by the way!  They seemed a blur to me through the 80s but then it was the days the Big Match would be dominated by us for good reason – I only ever watched us play and at the age of around 9-10 who could blame me?

From the 90s though that changed a little but still only really tuned into our matches. They were more a submarine than a football team forever coming up and then going down from recollection for the first half of that decade. Then came ‘Arry. Along with that I guess the only other thing I can remember is their production line of Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Michael Carrick, a duck billed platypus to name but a few and then obligatory migration. Some even came to Liverpool for a season or longer. Julian Dicks, Neil Ruddock etc. We can’t really say they made up for that with Mascherano as he wasn’t really theirs to begin with but given it’s the festive Christmas period I’m willing to give them that one  ;D

A few players have gone the other way other than the big Geordie. Rigobert Song and Craig Bellamy spring to mind

My First visit to Upton Park was in Feb 2003. They had our old keeper then David James and some players who came our way many years later in the form of Glen Johnson and Joe Cole. Defoe was also in their squad. I didn’t know what to expect from either side to be honest. West Ham in an obligatory relegation scrap already and we were battling towards the top (either above or just below CL positions). I didn’t expect to be up 2-0 in the first 10 mins but was absolutely buzzing. Bubbles burst of most Hammers and shouts for Roeder Out. First half as well!

Heskey compounded their misery. 3-0. I left buzzing. We ruined their big day out a few years after that too in an FA Cup final

Modern day Hammers. Well they went down a few years back and led to James Corden blubbing on the radio about the owners. They didn't leave without kicking us in the teeth with a 3-1 loss at the Boleyn ground  :no. Now with the Big Sam show back in town after returning to the Premiership courtesy of the play offs, the Hammers have been relatively good form. Blipped slightly prior to the Chelsea win but the match showed they will be happy to press up and get stuck in.

We’ve been similar to some degree in our last 5 results and they’re only 3 points ahead of us so it’s a game we need to win. With Lucas back we’re more assured of ourselves and the big question now is how do we solve a problem without Suarez? He gives us goals, creativity, menace, a persistent threat on and off the ball. Will we see the cojones of Brendan and him playing Stevie G as a striker? I’m hoping he planned for this day as soon as Suarez got to four yellow cards. It is a very interesting place to be indeed both as a fan and as a team. We’ve coped without him before but then had luxuries that are now at pastures new. Our nerves though should hold out. They may be jittery due to West Ham’s result at the weekend but at least it’s a scenario that we are playing out in actuality. It was always either an injury or 5th yellow card away.

They. Draw against Stoke, subsequent losses to Spurs and Man Utd, Win against Chelsea.

Us. Win against Wigan, Draw against Swansea, Loss against Spurs, Win against Southampton. Still wrong side of the table but the glass half full outweighs the one half empty. The Southampton match showed this

Of the last 3 seasons where the Hammers have been in the Premiership, the winning team has scored 3 goals. We’ve won more than we have lost (that bloody one in 2011). If that trend is one that carries into this match it will definitely be a cracker at the Boleyn Ground.

Predictions are always a funny thing. Too optimistic and you’re seen as out of touch. Pessimistic and we’re not getting behind the team. The reality is never really in between… it’s in what you believe. I believe we will always win. So 6-0 with a Steven Gerrard hat-trick and goals from Enrique, Johnson and overhead special from Suso  :)

Oh and Andy Carroll. Gone but not forgotten. This is what is in the Home Team changing room at Anfield as I discovered during a courtesy tour a month or so ago.

I think it’s the same at West Ham (though they've seen less of him than us on the pitch).

PS. We never discuss mascots given ours is really for the kids but I’ll tell you one thing – Mighty Red would kick the shit out of Bubbles the Bear. I mean look at this guy…

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