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The Art of Falling Apart

Filed: Saturday, 23rd October 1999
By: Graeme Howlett

Three games since the last report; a win against Bournemouth and defeats at the hands of Middlesbrough and Steaua Bucharest.

In the background the radio plays that infernal racket - 'I'm blue da da dee da da dum, da da da dee' ... bollocks. Is that really what 'the kids' were jumping up and down to in Ibiza this summer? Jeez, how things have changed since '88. Personally I blame the Ministry of Sound for all that is wrong with 'the scene' but that's another story ...

I look out of my blue house through my little blue window onto the rain drenched streets outside as I ponder. What a load of shite that 'Boro game was. Once Shaka did the honourable thing and walked (are you watching Vieira?) I don't think there were many of us who thought we'd get anything from a fixture which is now getting to be an annual pain in the arse. Deane's goal was inevitable (despite his best efforts to put it over the bar) - look on the bright side though, at least it wasn't Ince who stuck the knife in - thanks to Craig Forrest who was outstanding on the day. That would have been too much to bear.

It's only October and we're already suffering our first crisis of the season. What is it about our away form lately? Four defeats in a row - three in the Premiership and one in the UEFA Cup - and not even against the top sides. We should be more than capable of beating the likes of Everton, Coventry, Middlesbrough and Steaua Bucharest, but yet again we've come away empty-handed. Yet look at our home form - four wins out of four, against Spurs, Arsenal, Leicester and Watford. Unfortunately it's looking like another bloody typical Jekyll and Hyde West Ham season from where I'm sitting - and after such early promise too.

Now we've got two huge games coming up which could define our season. Firstly, the UEFA second round tie against Steaua Bucharest. Boy we messed up big time out there didn't we? But at Upton Park, under the floodlights, with 26,000 singing their hearts out to 'Bubbles' you've got to fancy our chances of turning things around. Whatever happens, it promises to be one of those special European nights that for most of us under 35 is simply stuff of East end folklore, and not personal memory.

And then the Worthington Cup match at Birmingham. No mugs the Brum, indifferent in the league as always but able to match anyone on their day - as the Geordies found out in the last round. With Skippy looking to prove a point it promises to be a fascinating tie. If we win we've a great chance of going all the way to Wembley, what with the likes of Man.Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea already out of the competition.

Win these games and we're back on track - to lose both would be unthinkable. Over the years we've perfected the Art of Falling Apart; just how much has Harry Redknapp improved our lot? Now is the test, time for the men in claret and blue to stand up and be counted.

Game On

This weekend sees the return to action for the Internet Irons after a long absence. We'll be taking on Colchester United at Regents Park on Sunday (24th October), kick-off 11am. So if you're in the area or simply stuck for something to do on Sunday morning why not come along and laugh at us, er, I mean cheer us on from the sidelines?

The following weekend we're up in Leicester to defend our title of M'Duck Cup champions, against the likes of Man.Utd, Southampton and Stockport County. Our chances should be pretty good, but as always it depends on how many members of the team end up on the piss on Saturday night ...

The team are still looking for players to enhance our squad; if you're a bit tasty and fancy kicking lumps out of Man.Utd and Arsenal supporters legally then email me at the usual address (see panel to the right) for more details. Or just turn up for one of the games and come and say hello.

Anyway, I'll keep you in touch with our progress. Watch this space ...

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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