Monday, October 30, 2006

Sheringham and the Spastics

There's still a lot of work to be done before the club transforms back into the gritty yet dynamic West Ham squad that we love, but today's gloriously ramshackle and much needed win against Blackburn (minus the ghastly Robbie Savage, who was supposedly blow drying his hair in the loo or something) was a great start toward good form. I could barely take most of it--I was too nervous, too aware that at any moment Sheringham and the lads would blow it and we'd have to start all over again next week, against Arsenal of all teams.

But the Hammers didn't blow it, and their performance today was heroic, inspiring, and entertaining to watch (on second viewing, of course), despite the uneven performance. But I don't care about that right now. I tried to really analyze the game on that second viewing (I was half-asleep and terrified during the live broadcast in the morning), but my emotions swept me away when I heard the faithful at Upton Park sing, chant, roar, and do whatever it took to conjure up the Twelfth Man. It was damn emotional, and what with me being inclined toward sweeping dramatic narratives, I was easily sucked into the team's desperate attempt for a little salvation.

It's hard to believe that the team hasn't won a match since opening day back in August, but it's true. Even harder to believe that they didn't score a goal for seven straight! Zamora (who was scoring before that but is now struggling like everyone else on the team) looked a lot better today, though Harewood is still confounding with his lack of putting . . . the . . . ball . . . into . . . the . . . back . . . of . . . the . . . net. He'll regain his predatory ways eventually, so I'm not really worried.

At times I felt the game was ugly and spastic. But when Sheringham scored in the 21st minute with that confident blast of a header, I could've cared less about the aesthetics of how the Hammers were going to win. I wanted melodrama and redemption, not subtlety and grace. As the game went on, the Hammers did start playing with that peculiar snap and working-class conviction that appeals to the faithful--me included--though they almost blew it at the end when Blackburn scored in stoppage time and then immediately attempted to even it up when Jeffers took that uncomfortably close shot. The Hammers didn't break, though, and they managed to claw their way out of the relegation zone into 16th place. Still a precarious position to be in, but I can live with it. I'm just glad for a glimpse of salvation.

You can read more about the match here and about the hero of the day here.


linda said...

Well done Hammers! Question, though - now that they've won with the old cast, do you think Tevezcherano are going to continue being left out?

Derek said...

I can't imagine Pardew not getting the Argentine lads back into the squad, unless of course they really are going to leave at the mid-season or at the end and he's washing his hands of them. I'm more than a little anxious to see what the line-up will be against against Arsenal.