While I anticipated my qualm this week to be with Birmingham – who, don’t get me wrong, failed to score yet again last weekend – it was in fact West Ham who started to get on my nerves. I’d made it to 12:50pm before watching the remaining 40 minutes of the first half of West Ham vs Chelsea, having decided to attempt to avoid all football in the hope of meeting my deadlines. However, with Hazard as my fantasy football captain, I felt that in order to get me big points I needed to give him a little bit of support. It didn’t work. I traded 40 minutes of essay writing for the opportunity to watch dire, dire football.
And that is what frustrates me. West Ham may have come away from games against City, Chelsea and Arsenal with 4 points, but I’m torn as to whether to be pleased for the Hammers (and of course, Mr Moyes), or whether to be frustrated at another side parking the bus. It’s as if Tony Pulis has risen from the Premier League’s managerial graveyard; leaving behind brave men such as Alan Curbishley, Gus Poyet and Glenn Roeder; only to be reincarnated as David Moyes himself (I know David Moyes never died, but if you run with the idea that his reputation died along with Sunderland’s hopes of survival last season, it almost works).
You can’t blame Moyes for being defensive however – after all, his last two managerial roles have ended with a disappointing 12 months and a relegation, respectively – but oh boy have West Ham adopted a ’10 men behind the ball’ philosophy. Unfortunately for television companies, West Ham featured in both the Saturday lunchtime kick-off (against Chelsea) and one of the broadcasted midweek games (against Arsenal), resulting in two absolutely diabolical games broadcast across the nation.
Whereas a month ago I’m sure the population of the UK would have been licking their lips at the prospect of goal-fests at the Olympic stadium, they will have been left disappointed, bored, and potentially devoid of all hope and aspiration as the likes of Mark Noble, Aaron Cresswell and Manuel Lanzini were left speculating as to what life would be like over the half-way line. They will have had to wait until after the final whistle before Arnautovic and Antonio would disclose stories of their adventures into the halves of Chelsea and Arsenal:
“Is it true that the grass grows greener under the blessed boots of Gary Cahill?”
I can only hope that West Ham are soon given license to roam, because whilst parking the bus might guide them to a solid 17th place finish, I can’t quite see it morphing into an exciting brand of football. It could be worse – at least they’ve scored more goals in their league campaign than Birmingham. Lets just hope they don’t face each other in the cup at some point; that would be a truly dreadful game of football.