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[Archived] Rovers 1 West Ham 2


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West Ham United.

The name conjures up majesty, dignity, and, at least since November, the opening strains of Pinky & The Brain.

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One of 3 teams to get a major mention in an American movie in the last few years, they drew Elijah Wood in a “feel good” movie about their Firm. Well, I suppose that's better than Liverpool getting Meat Loaf in “Formula 51/the 51st State,” or Newcastle and the diving tackle fest that was “Goal: The Dream Begins.”

The years have passed and other than a short spell in the Championship earlier this decade they've been perennial fixtures in the Prem, much like Rovers. They started this year after a great FA Cup run that saw them get to the final with high hopes. They had a young team and made major noise when they got the Argentinian duo Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano fresh off amazing World Cup performances late in the transfer window. The future was bright for West Ham, and many thought they'd be competing for a spot in Europe. Welcome to Blackburn, circa 1999.

Alas, they have not lived up to that potential. After a nice opener against Charlton, West Ham would not win again until... late October when they would beat Rovers. The club was dogged by persistent takeover rumors, first by a consortium fronted by an Iranian who owned the contracts of Tevez and Mascherano, and later by the amazingly aptly named Eggert Magnusson, Icelandic Biscuit King and head of that country's FA. Soon thereafter they would defeat Arsenal and Pardew's theatrics would force Arsene Wenger to show the amazing martial arts skills he picked up in 18 months of managing Nagoya Gampus Eight.

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Still, that brief spot of brilliance was not enough to save Alan Pardew's job and he was shown the door. After all the investment Magnusson had put into West Ham, he needed a dynamic, take charge manager to turn the club around and keep West Ham up to take advantage of the new TV revenue next year. He turned to the Man, the Myth, the Legend, Alan Curbishley (oddly enough resulting in a net swap of managers between Charlton and West Ham).

That seemed, against all logic, to be the right choice as Curbishley led West Ham to beat Manchester United for the first time in his managerial career in his first game at the helm. Things quickly slipped back to normal. Well, at least the transfer window might save them.

In January The Brain, sorry, Magnusson, opened his pocket book and did his best Roman Abramovich impression, signing any and all players with a modicum of talent, including Blackburn's own Lucas Neill. ...who was promptly injured in his first game for West Ham, and has had continuing injury woes since. It's been that kind of year for West Ham.

Apparently there's an investigation by the FA of the arrival of Tevez and Mascherano to the club which could result in a points loss.

Rovers have won 4 straight in all competitions and are through to the FA Cup Semis for the second time in four years. In addition, for the paranoid among us, at 40 points we're now safe from relegation come what may. West Ham have garnered 1 point in their last 8 fixtures, and last beat mighty Brighton in the FA Cup. They currently sit 20th with 20 points and a -29 goal ratio.

My first encounter with the 'Appy 'Ammers was before Rovers' first tilt with them this season. I was shepherding a neophyte West Ham fan through her first game live at a pub, and jumped on one of their message boards to see what words of wisdom they'd share with me.

Out of 14 responses, 10 were “a girl? You must be joking,” 3 were “send me naked pictures,” and 1 was “we won the World Cup in 1966.” Well, history records that they finished 8th in the old First Division that year so that must have been one spectacular season.

West Ham has, in Austin, Texas at least, a large following. After the 30 ManUre fans, the 20 Chelsea fans, the 15 Arsenal fans, and the 10 Liverpool fans, they clock in, with 6 regular fans at our local, as the 5th best represented club. Rovers currently clock in at 7th with 2 fans (though one is only here on loan from Northern Ireland). We just barely edge out the one Man City fan (who I mercilessly jibed today) and the one Tottenham fan. In the summer transfer period we're hoping to sign two teenagers from Stevenage Borough, and have a tentative deal for a $20 transfer fee to a Wigan fan to qualify for the Intertoto Cup at Fado (to be fair, it's just a really big beer glass, but it has sentimental value).

What follows is an interview with Galena, a West Ham supporter with an odd soft spot for MK Dons.

Driftpeasant: How did you become a supporter of West Ham?

Galena: Funny story that. You were the one that told me I needed to pick a team. And I happened to see Green Street Hooligans because of Elijah Wood. And it got me to start looking into West Ham. I liked what I read and was impressed with their fans. And so I blame you and Lord of the Rings.

Driftpeasant: You do realize you've just torpedoed any credibility I have with my fellow Rover fans, yes?

Galena: I never said it was for the best of reasons. Things fall into place for weird reasons sometimes. Such is life.

Driftpeasant: Right, well then, in a no doubt futile attempt to bring this back on track, what is your opinion of the season thus far?

Galena: This has definitely been an interesting season. It seems like we just keep sliding towards the bottom of the table for no good reason. We win some unexpected matches but lose ones we should have had in the bag. I don't know if the players are just bowing to pressure, but it's very disheartening. We shouldn't be doing this badly.

Driftpeasant: So what then your opinion of your new signings? Lucas Neill seems to have been a bit of a disappointment for you lot after having left us.

Galena: well he got himself injured so that's not the best showcase of his talent. But really the whole team has been a bit of a disappointment lately. Ah, I say that, but really we're not playing that badly, we just can't seem to get the points out of our efforts.

Driftpeasant: Also is there any truth to the rumor you were seen partying with Ferdinand on his US birthday jaunt? There are so few women who can stomach a Hammer, after all.

Galena: I have never been nor will ever be on a Hammerette callendar, like the ones all over your walls.

Driftpeasant: That would have been more impressive had you not misspelled "calendar." You ARE a Hammer, aren't you.

Galena: You want a smack, don't you?

Driftpeasant: You're married. Right, so back to football.

Driftpeasant: Who do you think will end up leaving at the end of the season when/if you go down? Obviously Curbishley seems to have Ferdinand on the chopping block, but Tevez would also seem a likely target

Galena: I don't know really. I wonder how the whole inquiry issue will effect his status as a player in England. He's said he wants to stay. Whether he stays with us, I guess we'll see.

Driftpeasant: Do you think Curbishley is likely to be your manager next year? Rumors have swirled suggesting no less a luminary than Graeme Souness might be interested in your managerial position.

Galena: I do wonder about Eggert Magnusson's plan. It seems like he's willing to throw anyone at the position that will get us some wins. I don't want Souness, but I could see Magnusson hiring him to try to pull us back up. Would it be worth it? I don't know. Curbishley seems like a good guy, but I wonder how much the manager can be responsible for the team's results?

Driftpeasant: What are the keys to a West Ham victory over Blackburn?

Galena: Getting the ball in your goal.

Driftpeasant: And who will step up and achieve this mighty feat?

Galena: Anyone that can. I'll take Green at this point.

Driftpeasant: Ah yes. His goal scoring prowess is unmatched. He scored so many for Reading back on New Year's Day. Still, I think, your faith may be misplaced.

Galena: In your eye, Chase. Green... he's a bit odd. He's either either really good or really off his game. He doesn't have much middle ground.

Driftpeasant: So are there any bright spots you've seen for West Ham this season? Other than the glare off Magnusson's head?

Galena: Johnathan Spector. He's pretty. I could could watch him all game.

Driftpeasant: ...

Galena: hey, ask a question like that... Actually, I've had to change my opinion on Tevez as the season has gone on. I hated him at first, and I still blame a good bit of our problems on Argentina, but he's improved. It's hard to keep not liking him when he's trying so hard and actually sarting to get somewhere.

Driftpeasant: Fair enough. And, of course, the obligatory last question: What is your prediction for the match? Please bear in mind that I'll be standing next to you at the pub, standing ready to mock you should your prediction fail.

Galena: Someone will leave unhappy. You will still be single and unhappy anyway.

Driftpeasant: ...thanks.

Driftpeasant: Could your audience perhaps get, I dunno, a SCORE prediction?

Driftpeasant: And I know I'm not going to score, thanks.

Driftpeasant: I mean the game.

Galena: 2-0 West Ham. Your karma backlash gives us the boost we need.

Driftpeasant: Thanks for your time. Say hi to Burnley for us when you see them down the Championship next year.

Driftpeasant: And remember, they had those colors first, you unoriginal yahoos.

Galena: It's Burnley, nobody cares.

Driftpeasant: Well, at least we agree on something. Perhaps there is hope for us after all.

Galena: as what?

Driftpeasant: ...

Driftpeasant: Ask me that when I'm drunk.

Driftpeasant: No, seriously, I mean a new era of detente between our two storied clubs.

Driftpeasant: You the current chavs, us the classy elders.

Galena: Blackburn classy? I don't think chavtastic can be called class.

Driftpeasant: It could be a beautiful relationship.

Driftpeasant: Sort of "A Star Is Born" but with the Hammers being a less attractive version of Barbara Streisand.

Galena: Now that's just low.

Driftpeasant: So's your point total.

Driftpeasant: And with that, I'll bid thee adieu.

(for the record, she hit me the next time she saw me)

Form and everything logical suggest we should soundly defeat West Ham. That being said, they're in the relegation zone and we're at Ewood, so 2-0 West Ham.

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Nice Preview :rover:

Yippee, I shall be attending this one. Say hello if you see me (I will be the one with the Cocker shirt on) If I see any regulars and walk straight passed please note that I am not being rude its just I am blind as a ref so will probably not see you (As I pointed out to Tris last time)

5-0 Rovers (5 Lucash own goals)

Nah, seriously, 2-1 Rovers. We normaly help the bottom three out but I just hope its not the case this time.

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They actually didn't play badly vs. Tottenham, who are in good form. Only problem is that when they get behind, the morale is at rock-bottom. So we need to score the first goal! But if they get in front, they get shaky and stressed, so we might bang in a few goals too. Hmm, as long as we score, we'll win, I guess. Because, as my fellow countryman Johan Cruyff always says: "You can't win if you don't score!". And I guess that's pretty...true!

3-3, us being 0-3 down after 35 minutes.

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West ham are a bit of a bogey for us the last couple of seasons, and added to that, they're in the relegation zone, and those two bogeys stack! Having said that, the team should be brim full of confidence, and our defence looks pretty strong. I'm thinking 3-1 to Rovers.

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I fancy a repeat of the 7-0 stuffing

A game that we really should be winning. Again like the city game I am feeling confident but theres that feeling at the back of my mind that we may get beat.

We should be too strong for them and I will go for a 3-1 win.

By the way MI that game finshed 7-1, Carrick scored just before half time for them. The game was on ESPN classics the other day.

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Well good preview, dude. I might actually be at Fado's for this game!!! I'm trying to get into Austin that weekend and get into Fado's for the match since I'd have to watch it on Monday otherwise...

Also Drift, check yer PM's...

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:angry:

Wanted to come up to Blackburn for this one but due to the stupid kick-off time, there's no train back to London after the match. And I've to be in London Sunday morning.

Hrmph.

Any advice?

Is there anyone driving back to London after the match on the Saturday? (of course I'd split the cost of petrol)

Rovers 1 West Ham 0

Lucas Neill concedes penalty.

Benni misses.

Neill later scores own goal.

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This is either a stuffing for West Ham or an embarassment for Rovers.

Ashton isn't back but I think most of West Ham's other decent players will be fit for this one so we are going to have to be up for this one and no normal slow first half.

That comment about Harewood means he will do what Rickets did- score against us.

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Is there anyone driving back to London after the match on the Saturday? (of course I'd split the cost of petrol)

I'm driving back to Birmingham straight after the game, I could get you to New St by about 9:30 if that's any help.

Simon :brfc:

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Luckily Tevez scored for them against Tottenham, otherwise he'd be spot on to score his first goal for the club against us (doesn't THAT always happen to us?)

Therefore, we'll keep another clean sheet. Lucash will get a yellow, but not red. He'll do some stupid gesture to the fans, however. Lucash will also be involved in a penalty decision that will not be given, and the entire board will moan about the fact that if he'd done that for us, the penalty would have been awarded. Bias against Rovers, blah blah blah

final to Rovers 2-0

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