There is an issue that has been vexing West Ham fans this week...
I often wonder what is wrong with me.
Well, that didn't last long.
I don't know about you guys, but I'm quite enjoying this good start to the season that we have made, whereby one must discount the actual beginning to the season and instead pretend it all kicked off last week.
Frantically googling synonyms for "happy". Frantically trying to remember what time Match of the Day 2 is on. Our season starts today, folks!
WARNING: This is not going to cheer you up.
And so we come to it. The ten greatest players to have played for West Ham United, and I strongly suspect that you could name most of them off the top of your head.
In narrowing down a list of over one thousand names to just fifty, it is inevitable that I will make some mistakes and certainly there is not a huge amount to choose between those in this section, and those who I have ranked immediately outside this list. In order to try and give some context, here are those players who just missed out:
Over the summer, West Ham Utd ran an interesting series of articles where they identified the “greatest” fifty players to have ever played for the club. I will confess that I find this kind of thing much more interesting than the general stuff that appears on the official site, which is usually a rehash of the previous week’s “the season starts on Saturday” article.
Imagine writing a long article highlighting the ludicrous, self serving, avaricious attempt by England's self styled biggest football clubs to murder the game, and then casually chucking in there that you had some plans to address those same imbalances.
With safety comes excitement, they said. Watch us throw off the shackles and dance like it's the last night of our holiday, we thought.
I had a curious experience watching this game...
Not every win comes in the form of a victory.
It's been a while.
I often wonder about these articles. What value do they serve, really, beyond allowing me to engage in something I like to do?
Let's not fuck about. We're in desperate straits.
"When your heart is black and broken
And you need a helping hand
When you're so much in love you don't know
Just how much you can stand"
- The Stone Roses, "Ten Storey Love Song"
Imagine playing a game of football for West Ham against Spurs, and all the attendant emotional baggage that goes with that.
"Now I've swung back down again, it's worse than it was before
If I hadn't seen such riches, I could live with being poor"
- James, "Sit Down"
Sometimes it's easy to take things for granted. Sometimes it's easy to forget what made us fall in love with people, or places, or things or even, yes, football teams.
West Ham play Crystal Palace next week and I’m concerned that it will be a meeting of such colossal awfulness that it will somehow destroy the world. I'm not telling you to say goodbye to your loved ones, but I'm not telling you not to either.
Two steps forward, two steps back. And so the dance continues.
One of my favourite time waster websites is Awkward Family Photos which pretty much does what it says on the tin. I believe this to be the masterpiece of the oeuvre:
In the classic three act story structure, we typically see a standard set of touchpoints through the course of the tale which give us the basic framework for events to unfold.
I am a terrible Englishman.
As a kid growing up, one of my favourite films was "Big Trouble in Little China". Being a boy from Essex, I'm pretty sure that the attraction revolved around being shown a world totally unlike anything I had ever even imagined before.
If your household is like mine, then you will have a bin in your kitchen.
"Omnes relinquite spes, o vos intrapten"
- Dante Aligheri
It's impossible, it feels to me, to be able to accurately convey the feeling of being a West Ham fan to other people. We can try, certainly, but the reality is that all football fans are convinced they are on a rollercoaster journey of zeniths and nadirs that is unmatched anywhere else in the world.
If the early Nineties was a test of faith for West Ham fans, then the second half of the decade was as near as we ever got to the promised land.
Yesterday I drove for the best part of twelve hours from Essex to Southern France, which is roughly enough time to get me halfway to Manchester based on some reports I read today, and I'm completely knackered.
I'm looking backwards - I can't face the future just yet.
I hope you'll forgive me, but I'm straying a little off the West Ham garden path this week. Instead I'm going to go back in time a little.
Ever fallen in love with someone?
Ever fallen in love?
In love with someone, ever fallen in love
In love with someone, you shouldn't have fallen in love with?
- The Buzzcocks
"I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past" - Thomas Jefferson, 1816