Whenever the general consensus is that we will spank a team, the Law interrupts and guarantees that we don’t…
Given to Score gives you the West Ham reaction
Time has passed since the disappointment of the loss at Upton Park and it should allow a more focused response than would have been posted minutes after the final whistle. That result was coming; unfortunately it came against a team which seemingly likes to put one over us more than support their own team. Bad memories of ‘that’ goal in (pick any season), 91-92, or Andy Cole and co bringing save after save out of Ludek and the joy their fans had when they had prevented us from taking the Championship, they all came flooding back and you knew you just knew that with the incoming Alan Curbishley and the fact that he had never beaten us as a manager, West Ham would do it on Sunday. Unfortunately it was written in more than stars, it was written over previous games when we were lucky to come out winning as handsomely as we did (Benfica).
We have played like that too often to get away with it one more time, it finally caught up with us. The ‘Law Of The Sod’ that occurs when the guys on Sky Sports tempt it with statements of “surely this can’t go any other way”. Whenever the general consensus is that we will spank a team, the Law interrupts and guarantees that we don’t. Manchester City at Shame Road for that 5:1 result that City fans still dine out on today; our multi million pound squad versus their squad assembled for the combined price of a carton of um-bongo and a lion bar, everyone expected us to roll over them but the Law had other ideas and there it ends.
On Sunday, United missed chance after chance and too many good players had an off game. They had so many chances throughout that you just sensed it wasn’t going to be our day. It was Benfica all over again with one difference; we invited Benfica to create a goal scoring chance which they took, but we did it early enough so actually get our arse in gear and get the right result. We know that if we keep missing chances and inviting opposing teams to create against us, the chance for them to score exists until the final whistle and one time the opposing team would do nothing all game and then take their chance when it was too late for us to reply. I’m fed up of needing the opposition to score before we remember we are in a game, sometimes it works against us. Celtic were played off the park but we wasted our chances and they took one too late, when we were given a chance nerves got the better of Mr Saha. West Ham sat back and knew that while it remained 0-0 they were able to perform the type of smash and grab victory that they did.
That was the moment Jose and the rest of his mega-bucks squad have been waiting for, crowing uncontrollably about how United have bottled it and will eventually lose the league to Chelsea. That may still happen, but it has not happened yet and it is important that our reaction to the defeat is correct. We can’t keep waiting for the other team to score before we perform ourselves. The league will not win itself, Chelsea are waiting and they will take chances to gain the upper hand in this season, without our unnecessary generosity. This will not be handed to us, but I have not screamed myself horse at United home games this season (and screamed at the telly when I’ve not been there) to see us hand it to them!
Nothing has changed; there is no more to play for now than there was at the start of the season. Our form has been great, this slip-up must be just that and must not be blown out of all proportion. Everyone will lose, us included but we have laid the foundations for a real stab at taking this bloody trophy away from Fat Frank and his mates and we cannot let that go to waste. There has been much done and is still much to do.
If we are going to make a fist of this league, let us not take our eyes off the punch bag for a second.