Archive for April, 2008

Curbishley Ruining The West Ham Way?

In a hard-hitting review of the Bolton game in The Echo, Rob Pritchard accuses Alan Curbishley’s defensive approach of ruining a century of slick, passing, attack-minded football at West Ham. Pritchard claims West Ham under Curbishley are actually attempting a poor imitation of Bolton and that it flies against the traditions of the club built by such managers as Greenwood. Lyall and Redknapp.

Many West Ham fans accepted the dire football the team have played this season because the team were at least picking up points. Since Christmas, however, the fans have had to watch the team playing poor football and getting thrashed by good sides and beaten by poor ones.

Alan Curbishley has pointed to the injuries to West Ham’s flair players but it is actually hard to determine who he is talking about. Etherington’s pace is admittedly a lot more exciting than Boa Morte’s day-dreaming on the left wing. Bellamy also seems to show more passion and desire to win than most of the players on show on Saturday and hopefully, if Dyer ever recovers, he will also demonstrate some pace down the right.

However in the summer Curbishley sold the two players at the club who could consistently unlock defences, Tevez and Benayoun. Obviously once both players publically declared their desire to leave there was little Curbishley could do to stop them. However it has become apparent that they have not been adequately replaced.

Let’s hope the Icelandic economy recovers enough by the start of next season to allow the owners to make available a sizeable transfer kitty. West Ham are in desperate need of a couple of flair players.

West Ham fans have never called for success but have always expected attractive football.

(From: Hammered Blog)

April 15, 2008 at 11:26 am 1 comment

My West Ham: 79 Years Ago

Als West Ham 4:0 gewann…

Pat Gerber, eine seit 40 Jahren in der Schweiz lebende Londonerin, schickte mir vor Kurzem einen Schulaufsatz ihres Vaters mit einem “Matchbericht” vom Spiel West Ham v Burnley, geschrieben an einem 9. April in den Zwanziger-Jahren.
Pat’s Dad Albert (Bert) ist heute 92 Jahre alt und lebt in Dagenham, drei Stationen vom Upton Park entfernt (Bild: Pat Gerber).
Anlässlich des unerfreulichen Resultats vom Dienstag (0:1 gegen Portsmouth) kann ein Blick in die Vergangenheit nicht schaden, glaube ich:

Written 9th April, 192…
How I Spent Good Friday
On the morning of Good Friday I began the day by getting in the hot Cross buns for our breakfast. All the morning I played a game of cricket with my brother and six other boys. When it was two o’clock my brother and I went to the West Ham football ground, seeing a good game between West Ham and Burnley resulting in a win for the Hammers.
West Ham started off, as if to be sure of a ten-none victory. A great combination between Earl and Ruffell enabled the last mentioned player to find the net with a great left drive. Immediately after the centre the Hammers gave Burnley a real lesson in football. They passed the ball accurately from man to man, but a mistake on Watson’s part, enabled the right back of Burnley to clear with a fierce drive. It was then Burnley’s turn to attack, and Hufton was kept busy for ten minutes. Before half-time Watson and Ruffell put on two further goals.
In the next half both goalies were kept busy, Hufton especially. Yews continually beat both backs only to find no-one in the centre. Play was very even and more than three times did Beel the centre forward of Burnley, cut through the backs to be foiled by Hufton. Two minutes from the end Gibbins scored through a neat pass by Ruffell. That brought the score to four for West Ham. Soon after, the whistle went for full time.
We went from Upton Park to the Princess Alice, then a short walk from there brought us to the Hats Fair. Both of us enjoyed ourselves immensely on the coconut shies, darts, ringboards and all the other things. At half past nine we went home claiming between us two boxes of chocolates, three coco-nuts and a packet of cigarettes.”

Laut der Website West Ham-Stats fand das beschriebene Spiel am 29. März 1929 vor 20.000 Zuschauern am Upton Park statt und endete – wie im Aufsatz geschildert – 4:0 für die Hammers.
Die Statistikseite führt allerdings neben Vivian Gibbins und Jimmy Ruffell (2) nicht Victor Watson, sondern Tommy Yews als weiteren Torschützen.
Dieser kleine Irrtum ist aber nicht weiter verwunderlich: schließlich ist Vic Watson (im Bild links) West Hams All-time-record-goal scorer. Zwischen 1920 und 1936 erzielte er 326 Tore für West Ham. Einige Wochen vor dem Spiel gegen Burnley hatte er bei einem 8:2-Heimsieg gegen Leeds (9.2.1929) sogar sechs Tore in einem Spiel geschossen.
Der legendäre Stürmer, eine Art “Josef Uridil vom Upton Park”, schaffte insgesamt 13 Hattricks für West Ham. (Josef Uridil war DER Stürmer des SK Rapid Wien in den 20er-Jahren.)
Trotz der vielen Tore von Vic Watson beendete West Ham die Meisterschaft der First Division in der Saison 1928/29 aber nur auf dem 17. Platz. Die beste Platzierung während Vic Watsons Karriere war ein 6. Platz in der Saison 1926/27.
Der “runner-up” unter West Hams besten Torschützen ist übrigens Geoff Hurst (1959-1972) mit 252 Toren. Und die beste Liga-Platzierung aller Zeiten schafften die Hammers 1985/86 mit John Lyall als Coach: Platz 3 hinter Liverpool und Everton.

Einen weiteren Bericht über West Hams durchaus glorreiche (etwas jüngere) Vergangenheit, als die Weltmeister Moore, Hurst und Peters für die Hammers spielten, kann man auf Pat’s Homepage lesen. Hier klicken!

April 10, 2008 at 9:04 am 1 comment


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