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West Ham Match Preview.


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WEST HAM August 13th 2005 Kick Off 1500 Boleyn Ground

Match Preview by ozziejones

I`ve only just sobered up from the semi final in Cardiff and it’s a new season, and blow me the third ashes test match should still be being played at the time of the kick off, although some have there doubts it will last till Saturday afternoon…

Anyway, during the close season the general feeling and outlook amongst Rovers fans for the season 2005-2006 has taken a significant turn for the better. At the end of last season, most of us were thinking...safety acheived, good cup run, beat the dingles again...could have been worse. But the general opinion was that the next season was not something to be looked forward to, bearing in mind the style of play adopted to overcome the turgid relegation battle. A distinct lack of goals, a 4-5-1 formation and the lack of any real pace in the side meant most matches were endured rather than enjoyed, a chore necessary to obtain 40 points by any means sooner rather than later.

And we were relatively happy, so long as the points and results kept on trickling in. At christmas time, the situation was fairly bleak, no goals, no pace, no defence and no prospects. But by the end of the transfer window, two players had been brought in and although we didn`t know it then, they were to change the course of the season for us and turn us into one of the hardest teams to beat. Indeed, we became one of the hardest teams! Scrooge had visited Ewood at christmas, and sparky put a blue and white shirt on him.

The leaky defence dried up, teams suddenly had to play well to beat us, and a thin veil of optimism descended over East Lancs. Safety was acheived fairly easily in the end,and Rovers even managed another trip to Cardiff. Then it was time to re-group and take stock.

Then during the summer, when it appeared our no.1 transfer target had fallen through, Sparky pulls off a stunning coup in securing the services of Craig Bellamy from Newcastle. Cost approx 3/5s of a Crouch.

Suddenly, we have a team that doesn`t let goals in and a whippet up front with a fantastic eye for goal, and everybodies happy. Probably.

So, two and a half months after a dismal defeat at home to Fulham in the final game of the season, it all starts again at the Boleyn Ground tomorrow. Hold on to your hats folks, its gonna be an interesting nine months.

For a team that play in Claret and Blue, West Ham have a fairly decent reputation. Never won the league title, but three FA cups and a couple of European wins is certainly not a Newcastle-esque return. Locals also talk about the time that West Ham won the world cup in 1966(They supplied Peters, Moore and Hurst for the winning England team).

Matches between rovers and the Hammers seem to come round fairly frequently. Goals are not usually a problem either...5-4, 8-2, 7-1 , and many other goal fests feature heavily down the years.

West Ham of recent times, well the stadium used to be a pretty intimadating place to go-the crowd right up to the pitch, almost on top of the players in some parts. The ICF of the seventies, and dark, murky back streets round the ground concealing who knows what terrors that the east end fog keeps to itself.

My expectations of the day are a pretty boring game, and no chance of a win. But our record in opening day fixtures, particulary against teams recently promoted from the league below, and particulary against teams begining with W is quite good.

So, there you have it. The first preview of the season. Things can only get better eh?

Time to dash....


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