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West Ham v Everton

Filed: Monday, 14th May 2018
By: Ten Thousand Miles From The Boleyn

I don't dread meeting Everton since Bilic figured out how to stop Lukaku scoring every time; he just convinced Mourinho to cough up seventy five million quid for the bloke... Genius.

But I live ten thousand miles from the Boleyn, so what do I know about anything?

I do know that if I ever had the misfortune to find myself incarcerated in a Turkish prison my hope is that if I were sodomised, it would be by a guard with a really small dick.

10 Minutes: Moyes has stuck with the same formation as usual but we look sharp and could have had a couple already.

I only share this thought as an example of the fact that I tend to be the Glass Half Full type. Another is that I will be coming back soon for my quadrennial visit, or as nobody has ever said before: "Oh, to be in England, when the World Cup's on". My brother is also making the trip from Canada and even though he's more of a Glass Half Empty man, he is equally delusional in thinking "Maybe this time?" I've often found that an ability to ignore depressing facts and avoid logical conclusions has also made being a West Ham fan much more tolerable than it could have been.

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22 Minutes: Arthurís off and Fernandes gets to play out of position yet again, I like the bloke but it's so hard to judge if he's any good or not.

Unfortunately, social media allows bitter reality to cross the border into the Great State of Denial I like to spend my twilight years, and while everybody has the right to express their own opinion, since when has our degree of mistrust and anger been in direct proportion to how much of a fan we are? I'm a Hammer through birth and as a result I see the club as I do my family, and no amount of arguments about money or broken promises is ever going to change that. Although as one of the most depressing seasons I can recall comes to a close I find myself dwelling on the painful memory of a casual conversation I once had with my father, in which he revealed a terrible, terrible secret.

38 Minutes: Brilliant move by Moyes, he's managed sneak on a really good player who is the spitting image of Kouyate.

He once told me that when he met my mum she was a "Red". I don't want to overdramatise my reaction but it was like a scene in Vertigo where the ground falls away from beneath Jimmy Stewart's feet while being accompanied by the screeching violins from the shower scene in Psycho. I understood instantly that if there was indeed a bit of Red Shite or even Manker lurking in my DNA it would have been kept from me as a child. But that wasn't the secret, fortunately my worst fears were unfounded when he explained that Mum had just been a communist.

60 Minutes: Same players, same formation but playing without fear. Sounds simple doesn't it?

I have no love for the Board, their transfer policy, public comments or all the intrigue that goes on at the club and I don't claim to know what they really think; but to a certain extent I do understand the mentality. Hardly anyone becomes immensely rich by accident; even lottery winners have to make an "investment" before they retire to some sun-drenched beach. But that does them, they don't think "I'll take my ten million and try to double it". You have to be a certain type to accumulate more wealth than you could ever need and still feel compelled to acquire more; I liken it to an addiction and once you've got it, it is awfully hard to overcome. This explains why I avoid getting upset by things that happen at Board level... it's just their nature.

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62 Minutes: Fernandes still gets pushed off the ball too easily. More bulk in the summer please.

It was the summer of 2011 and followed our recent relegation under the expert guidance of Avram Grant. Anyway, I was in the pub with my dad and mentioned that obviously I would be taking absolutely zero interest in the upcoming Premier League season as I hate every team in it, all the players, managers, coaches (you get the picture). At which point the old man looked wistfully into the middle distance and with no hint of regret, shamelessly announced that he'd always had a soft spot for "The Arsenal."

63 Minutes: What a hit by Arnautovic! Either the ball moved crazily in the air or the keeper decided "I'm not getting in the fucking fucking way of that!" The latter I'd say.

This time I could clearly hear the haunting clarinet soaked themes from Vertigo while simultaneously feeling as if I were being violently stabbed to death while standing stark-bollock naked in the bath. I'm not sure exactly what it was that effected me in such a visceral way, perhaps it was the casual, almost playful familiarity exhibited in describing them as "The Arsenal". I told my brother of the conversation and we agreed that an announcement that we had both been adopted would have been less shocking, and far more welcome.

66 Minutes: Zabaleta is such a pro. Caught upfield, sprints back and clatters the bloke!

I know Moyes is far from being the answer to a maiden's prayer but he clearly did what he was hired to do, and while loyalty is rare in football nowadays I personally would prefer to support a club that at least gives the illusion of having some sense of honour. I can't imagine Moyes was told that if he keeps us up he will be rewarded by getting the boot, there was even a poll last week where people voted on who they wanted as the manager. Surely I can't be alone when I say that just having that on a West Ham fans website is fucked. There was a time when we'd get home from another drubbing and just wished we had a cat we could kick, now we wrap a virtual letter around a metaphorical house brick and lob it through the managers front fucking window.

70 Minutes: It's taken thirty eight games to feel like every Man City fan has since the first day of the season... It's been worth the wait.

So this is how we qualify as Hammers fans is it? I finally forgave my dad after he agreed to buy the next three rounds as penance for his dreadful admission but a seed of doubt had been sown. I honestly don't know if my dad was ever a regular at Upton Park before I was born, which is one more question I've added to the list of things I should have asked him earlier. Our first match together wasn't until we paid a visit to White Hart Lane in the 1980s, and after nearly being crushed to death in the dangerously over-stuffed West Ham end we got separated and he found himself in a section they eventually opened up in the corner. Unfortunately this was within coin and urine-chucking distance of the home supporters so when the four-nil thumping we received is also taken into account it's not surprising this proved to be our last match together.

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81 Minutes: If anyone should bump into Lanzini during the summer tell him from me; PLEASE DON'T GO!

I'm pretty sure that when our final conversation appears in his biopic I doubt it will be nominated for a classic father/son Hallmark Movie of the Week "Most Poignant Closing Scenes" award. It was clear that by that time he no longer knew I was his son, which isn't as awful as it sounds as I was no longer talking to my dad, but to the man everyone else knew. And after debating the merits of Al Bowlly's back catalogue and speculating as to whatever happened to Wilson, Keppel and Betty we spent the rest of the time discussing West Ham; past, present and future.

87 Minutes: Collins gets a well deserved ovation. Can someone explain why we would sell him?

The last story he told me was from his army days when the regimental dog Rob had been awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. He brought him home on leave and took him down to the Boleyn where he successfully blagged several beers from the barman. In the end, rather than tell some heroic story about his time during the war or the three years he stayed on afterwards tracking down Nazi war criminals; he chose to tell the story of a nineteen-year-old pimping out a national treasure in exchange for a few free pints, and if that's not a Hammers fan I don't know what is.

Final Whistle: I don't think I've said it before this season but these fuckers can play. Was this performance a thumbs up by the players for Moyes? Who knows, but I can't wait for August.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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