Ah, Christmas time. Time for yuletide gatherings, mince pies, stuffing your bird and watching the children sit on a dirty old man’s knee in the local shopping mall.
And of course, Boxing Day games….. though The Richardsons 2 The Krays 2 unfortunately didn’t produce the right result for what has to be one of the lousiest yuletide periods going (at least 75% of the population has flu). Surprisingly, there was only 20,000 there today, which is not that much higher than Plough Lane days, and I hate 12 noon kickoffs anyway.
Much of the talk will be about Ian Hislop’s [copyright A. Wilson, told you you’d get a name check] blunder, which gave Neil Ardley a goal (who, it had to be said, played rather worryingly well), but the fact is, we gifted them two goals. The one before half time was clearly Euell’s fault (obviously his Euelltide gift…… sorry), whilst the Whammer’s second goal was down to Neil Sullivan. Mind you, Sully wasn’t exactly aided by having half his shoulder removed in the first half by Di Canio – obviously the West Ham Academy now teaches its disciples to injure opposition goalkeepers and feign injury (typical traits to which all East Londoners live by, as it goes).
Those having a good game today, apart from the aforementioned Ardley (who could well be worth the Â£2m we want for him after today), was Badir, Herman and Trond. I still don’t rate Gayle at all, Euell was nothing special, and Michael Hughes does not look half the player he once was. Â£3m for him, maybe?
An (as yet) unstanciated rumour concerns Carl Cort, who reportedly did an Anelka-style strop by storming out of the dressing room before the game after (presumably) finding out that he wasn’t playing. If he wants to go, let him. He’s worth a lot of money, he hasn’t really scored that many goals (he does tend to need 10 shots to get one in) and as far as I’m concerned we can do without stroppy prima donnas at this club. We await developments.
Bad news re: John Hartson – he’s reportedly had a knee op, which will put him out for two months. That’s what somebody inside the club reckons anyway (and they’re never the most reliable of sources….). Mind you, Teletext reckon it’s only for two weeks. This probably explains his lack of form at the moment – though I would rather he have an op now and clear it up rather than risk further injury by coming back way too soon. Ask Jon Goodman.