Henri Lansbury – what a player in the making. If for no reason other than to see the midfielder play for Watford you tuned into Sky last night you would have seen him score a terrific goal. A pass, the perfect positioning for a return, heads for goal, a player on either side of him so he plays the ball from one foot to the other in the space of half an inch, and slips through the middle. Keeper is covering the near post, all except for another half an inch, and that is exactly where the ball goes.
That was on 26 mins. On 54 he played a team mate in for Watford’s third, and then finished off a move in the 61st minute for the team’s fourth and his second.. Wow-wee as they say. (I don’t know who “they” are in this context, but maybe you get my drift).
Thus is must seem that even the continuous doom sayers are now reckoning we are no longer in Paradise Lost, that no longer can it be said that the Lord Wenger is “not waving but drowning”, and that those highly educated folk that sit in the club level are no longer sitting in their loungers, sipping their cocktails muttering, “do not torment me prithee”. (Milton, Stevie Smith, Shakespeare).
And the Lord Wenger has promised us a trophy. Last time he promised like that we went unbeaten all season. (Mind you he actually promised it one year early, so we have to be cautious).
It seems of course 100 years ago, but we started the season winning 6-1 away. But, oh yes, I remember on Everso Simple Plodding Nonentities (ESPN) we were told Arsenal weren’t that good, it was just that Everton played badly. And it won’t be like this every week, and “Calm down calm down, calm down, they’ll be all right”. (I think that is what they said).
Indeed even this very week on Sky the very venerable Glen Hoddle told us that we have attack problems, and desperately need a fox in the box to put away more of our chances. The mere fact that we had just beaten the record for the number of goals scored in the first eight games was neither there, nor here, nor anywhere else for our Glenda.
Even with most of the first team injured (and we have an injury crisis that makes Liverpool look like the centre of health) we are doing ok.
Theo played for 27.25 seconds, Eduardo came on for a bit and UEFA tried to ban him, Nasri has just got his first game in the reserve reserves, Denilson is now a distant memory, Bendtner got a groin strain in a night club or a car or something, and Almunia tried to eat aluminum and got a bug while the other guy broke both arms at once, Rosicky has done his knee, Vela spends most of his life in an aircraft (apart from when he was really injured), Merida went off to play in the Under 3’s World Cup, Arshavin got crocked in a world cup match, both full backs have needed time off…. and I am expecting a call any minute to fill in at right half.
But of course that is still the surface. What of the lower levels?
The reserves… played five, won four, drawn one. 2nd in the league, one game in hand. Win that we’re top.
The yooof…. with most of their players of last year now either in the reserves or the first team squad, a completely new bunch of kiddies has needed to be found. All a bit rough and ready of course, can’t expect too much…. Played nine, won five, drawn two, lost two, top of the league
The ladies… most of our top players went to play in the pro league in the USA. Manager has gone. Started our campaign late because of the World Cup, now playing two games a week every week.
So can’t expect a re-run of the heroics of last season, but including two Champions League games in Europe and one league cup match we have played eight, won eight. Scored 45 let in 3.
But to return to this matter of West Iceland. The club is bust, gone, kapput, dead, sunk, beaten, eaten, smitten, forgotten, unforgiven, and charged by the FA with bringing stewarding into disrepute. They have problems that make AZ Alky look like the pinnacle of financial well-being.
So I went looking for a few West Iceland blogs to see if they would say anything I could snigger at, and rather interestingly, most of the ones I found were rather good, well argued, honest, and genuine.
Yes I know I am saying this about WHU, but it is true. I just went to google, typed in “West Ham blog” and worked my way down. Their bloggers know they have problems, but they are being real, good supporters, sticking with their team even in the dire times. Made me feel a bit of a nerd with all this West Iceland gubbins.
I even found someone who could really amuse me with his/her writing. Try this…
“For West Ham United, severely impeded by the Scylla and Charybdis* of a rabid football press and a public financial imperative to balance books, the transfer window cracks and hums, pulsing like the premonitory electricity of death. Transfer rumours in these austere times are as pieces of lint, static-clinging to our collective screen as 24hr rolling media disseminates half-truths and belches effluents, pollutants, contaminants and deliriants into an airborne toxic event…”
* a Greek mythology version of a rock and a hard place – actually much more meaningful in the Greek – Tony. It is at http://jlmd.blogspot.com/
Trouble with that one is that it was posted in July after which the blogger gave up and was suckered by Uranus (that’s the Greek god of the sky – and if you don’t stop sniggering I’ll close this piece and go and play the piano).
But wait, try this one (and how about this for a bit of honesty when considering sunday’s game)
“Scoring could also prove useful. As could having a shot on goal. Getting a cross in might get us somewhere. And making a valid substitution before second half injury time is also something to consider.”
I thought that rather droll, but if you look at the whole article at http://thehlist.blogspot.com/ you will see it is a genuine piece of passion from a real fan, not from a whinging moaner who complains because we haven’t won the Euro Cup four times in the past three years.
In fact my quick flick through the West Ham sites shows true honest support, which recognises where the team is, and what they are doing, and stays with the club no matter what.
Meanwhile according to that fountain of knowledge (The Star) Arsenal are going to sign Valon Behrami, and Arsene wishes he had never let Upson go.
Hey ho. Another 1-4 to the Arsenal I guess. West Ham’s goal is headed in by Zola from the technical area, while Eduardo scores a back flick, a flick with his right ear, and overhead flick from the half way line, and a bounce in from a concrete bollard left over from the Millwall match.
MAKING THE ARSENAL – the first novel about Arsenal to be published since the Arsenal Stadium Mystery is available on October 30th. For more information please visit www.shop.firstandbest.co.uk And there’s a regular update on Arsenal 100 years ago on www.blog.woolwicharsenal.co.uk
(c) Tony Attwood 2009 (Not that anyone would want to nick a piece like this and pretend it is their own!)
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