Monday, January 12, 2009

Newcastle 2-West Ham 2

I took up my normal spot Saturday morning with the other West Ham fan here in town, and low and behold, we had increased our numbers by 50% as a third hammer joined us for the match. Parker played as well as he had all year. Ding! His price just went up. Bellamy's did as well as he harassed the Newcastle backs all day and then keyed their cars on the way out of the lot. He tweaked a hamstring late so I am sure we will see him again in a few months. Maybe that will keep the buyers at bay for a bit.

Carlton Cole has finally learned to complete the third item to his checklist:

1. Control ball
2. Turn around
3. Kick ball into net

For the first three and a half months of the season, item 3 was "fall down" or "give ball to other team." After Zola pledged to work him until he was sick a few weeks ago, Cole has responded with a great run. It is nice seeing him tie it all together. Now, he will bruise the other team and score goals. Nice.

The line of the match came from Dan after Andy Carroll scored; "Damn you O-Town!"

Who knew he quit the big money world of manufactured pop to become a thorn in our side?

Oh, he's in there.

The play of the match was me, slamming my cap on the floor after Neill made a fantastic goal at the wrong end. It bounced eighteen inches straight up and back into my hands where I deftly placed it on my head just as I realized the goal had been disallowed for some reason. Neill was shaky all match which is just not that unusual. What was strange though, was the tremors coming from the rest of the backfield for the first part of the match. It felt like the old days of October with Collins falling over and Collison eating with some fans in the first row for a while. They finally came around though and held strong enough for the tie. WHU should have scored at least two more but Newcastle had their shots as well.

Once again, a point is a point, but it would be great to see how we do without giving up a goal in the first twenty.

From the Times Online: Truth is elusive in Harry Redknapp's world

From the official website: Zola Excited for the Future

"Sometimes we get carried away by the enthusiasm of going forward and scoring that sometimes we concede something [at the back]. But trust me this team can play even better. I can tell you we can produce the football like we did in the first 15 minutes of the second half at Newcastle for even longer. I have confidence in my players.

"They were determined to win, they wanted to win. In the end, I had to keep some of them from running forward. It is positive though, it means they want to win. They are determined to improve, they are willing to do everything to get the team to a high level. It is a fantastic thing for a manager to see."

I am excited as well. Now, if we can just make it to February without losing too much.

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