Filed: Sunday, 3rd October 1999
By: Dan O`Rourke
Phew. Another cold lager, the fantastic Supergrass on the stereo. Maybe I can catch my breath, work out if anything has gone horribly wrong so far this season (don't worry, the Blurbs were a one-off in an occasional series of the madder workings of my and other peoples minds, wait until we revisit "cult of the nine"and the Bo's amongst the more surreal things that have happened this decade).
What a fantastic beginning to the season - although we haven't managed to be top of the league for 36 minutes or however long it was when we played Barnsley on the opening day a couple of seasons ago. I don't think anyone of us could have really asked for more. Firstly beating the mighty Tottenham who I note are 18-1 to win the UEFA Cup - we are 40-1. I thought Sinclair and Moncur (post alien abduction) were superb; infact I thought the whole team were great - actually I don't think I've thought they weren't at any point this season, even during the defeat at home by the perodontal atrium French lot, judder and all (Ok Metz).
It seems the only player I have really been concerned about has been Paolo Wanchope, Mr.Rubber legs himself. He seems to miss about 5-10 chances a game, but as long as we're still winning who am I to care or argue?
It was such a good feeling walking out of the ground in summer sunshine knowing full well I was for the third year going to have the better of the couple of Tott's at work, one who is strangely from Edmonton, Canada. Then who was it? To be honest I can't remember, Leicester? Well anyway another good game and I got involved in some complicated seat swap affair and so ended up on the other side of the Bobby Moore lower, but it seems the people down there are just the same. Going 1-0 down early to such a weak goal was not a good thing, it was a mistake by Rio who, at Villa, the next game (or the previous one) committed a similar error for Dion Dublin to round him. We fought our way back though and good work either side of half time gave us the result I believe we deserved and condemned Leicester to another defeat at Upton Park.
The Villa game was totally different. I travelled down with a work colleague who is a Villa season ticket holder and had offered me a ticket free - only thing is I'd be in the main stand, although Chris does have good seats so not too many worries. I don't think it took too long to work out I was probably the only Hammer in the stand (apart from those in the directors/corporate area). Going 1-0 down wasn't good for me, because I could on the whole join in with the somewhat miserable bunch Chris is surrounded by in abusing Villa players. "Hendry you're shit" was a popular cry - of course I couldn't agree more.
Moncur once again seemed to be playing a blinder running about like a man possessed, drag backs, even well timed tackles, the whole John Moncur is a good footballer thing is really taking shape now. 2-1 down and Chris and his friends remained very gracious. I couldn't quite work Villa out once they'd scored, perhaps they thought they were wearing the wrong claret and blue, because they sat back and back and a couple of good saves by David James (see he's been abducted too) kept the mighty travelling Hammers at bay.
However, when the goal did come (and bizarrely I hadn't given up on the fact it might), it was worth the wait. What a sweetly timed tackle giving the ball to Lampard racing 40 odd yards to play the most fantastic flick back to Sinclair to score. This move was only slightly more impressive than my 'leaping out of my seat running down the Isle to run about a bit more and whoop like a child' act. Then I looked around to see perhaps 8000 people not whooping and leaping.
So who else have we beaten thus far, oh yeah, Metz (and I still haven't got over it) Barnsley and Watford. I didn't make the once in a lifetime trip to Barnsley, but by all accounts once again we were very good and Wanchope missed a hatfull of chances, but we were victorious.
I missed this Saturdays home victory over Watford, where (and I see a pattern here) we won, but Wanchope missed a hatfull (again). I was clawing my way aroung the Cambridge coutryside attending two weddings, a pretty monumentous day really because I bought a suit Friday and thus looked smart all Saturday, so yes there is a first time for everything.
All in all it's been a fantastic opening month, more West Ham than I think anyone I come into close contact was prepared for, but how I've enjoyed boring them.
Osijek of Croatia on Thursday, and for some reason I haven't bought my ticket or any seat for that matter. Can't work out why (small furry creatures of Satan perhaps?) I think we'll beat them, I haven't a clue why because I know bugger all about them, but they do have a very nice web site to tour the city. If I could remember the URL I'd post it here, but alas it's at work. Then on Saturday we have Everton away, where surely we can get a result this year, or perhaps in the least not get beaten by 4+ goals.
So here's to a busy October, loads of points, goals and fit defenders.
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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