Party On…Dudes!

Like Bill and Ted’s hapless yet excellent adventure, West Ham vs Watford on Saturday afternoon at the London Stadium…and there were few in this universe that thought the Hammers could put on an attacking display, let alone come away with glorious victory.
It was indeed a great result and a determined display although we came under increasing pressure in the second half by hostile invaders who failed to deliver a punch. Even when they broke free down our flanks…our heroes at the back, stood up and were counted, cleared the lines and notably cleared up for each other whenever we were forced into mistakes.

Even Adrian showed continued sturdiness between the sticks, pulling off a few saves that possibly looked more dramatic than they needed to be…but that is a goalkeeper’s prerogative one assumes. My reservation continues however for the Spaniard who tends to slightly fumble before recovering when catching the ball on crosses or when he chooses to punch away when a catch would be more suitable.

Moyes played a master stroke with his attacking formation although a few eyebrows were raised with Antonio’s choice for the left side, however he performed admirably albeit clumsily on many occasions. He injected pace to bring concern to the Watford defensive strategy and even broke free along the line to deliver a couple of decent quality crosses, one even assisting Hernandez for the opener.

The first half performance, both teams succeeded in delivering a spectacle even the neutral would be entertained by. The quality improved from both as the minutes ticked by, the game ebbed and flowed and when Chicharito scored with his noddle we were all happy that the party could finally start and hoped it would never end. We’re starting to look good…vey good indeed! Arnautovic returned and made all the difference to our attacking pleasures and even bagged a second half sealer whilst Zabaletta and Noble were the rocks of ages in the supporting crew.
After such a tumultuous couple of weeks with anger rising within the many ranks of the West Ham faithful, it was a huge relief when the team were able to deliver a performance that would skim over the cracked plaster…if only for a short while. Our good spirits needed revitalising, refilling and regenerating but we are under no illusion that this win does not appease the dissension and certainly does not forgo our need to hold the owners accountable for all the past, current and future issues from within our club.

Like the school flunkies who’d rather play their guitars…very badly in their mock group; ‘Wyld Stallyns’, so has been many of our performances this season. Last week against Brighton, the players looked like lost souls who had failed their history tests and were about to be expelled. Oh how I wished that Moyes would be transported away in a time travelling phone box to gather all the best parts and fix the errors in our school report. Well, it seems my wishes and prayers were answered, Moyes got his voyage of discovery and returned in the nick of time to deliver a stand out show to realign the planets…if only for the remainder of the weekend.

As fate would have it, our fellow flounderers also picked up wins and crucial points to reel us back in as the remaining weekend fixtures reached their conclusions. We now sit just four points off the bottom three with our next fixture away to the very impressive yet equally inconsistent Liverpool. If  Moyes fails to organise the troops, to park two huge double decker buses in front of goal and cannot muster any kind of counter attack that relives momentary pressure from our defences, then we will surely succumb to their superiority. If the other results go against us, then we could plunge from the precarious 12th position to 17th in the blink of an eye…it doesn’t bear thinking about but indeed may be the distinct reality that we may have to face.

The players stepped up on Saturday as did the fans whom had been erroneously vilified and flagrantly challenged to offer unyielding support by a defensive Sullivan. The early Saturday release of his video plea did nothing to ease tensions for the rising majority of disgruntled fans. He did not deliver answers, he did not shower us with impending resolutions to existing issues…he did not even offer any kind of reconciliatory words to gain our favours. Not even, “I’m sorry if there is anyone who feels let down or if we have made statements that have given false impressions”
Without actions, lacking substance and devoid of meaning words are empty echoes of ineffective communication and basket cases lost in translation. Just as we would ridicule Moyes or any player who would try to pull the wool over our eyes trying to proclaim a fabulous performance after an abject one, so we are not the medieval fools who dribble over mistruths and we do not fawn over those who would defend and deflect from the indefensible.

Our club has been hurled along a wormhole being chased by a desperate team locked in a time warping phone box with a broken antenna. If only Moyes could find enough Hubba Bubba bubblegum to chew, ample saliva to fashion a fix and stick the aerial back together to get us to our desired destination.

This is the predicament we find ourselves in and the quagmire created by mismanagement and false horizons. The fans have their role to play, to deliver continued and unyielding support with impassioned pleas for consistency and soaring endeavors. The manager and team must grab and hold on tight to this latest victory and carry that momentum forward. There will be gravity busting struggles and blooded battles, there will be questions awaiting answers and surely inquisitions of a hierarchy that continue to confound and fail our aspirations.

As the team immerse themselves into an enforced two week layoff which has the disrupting influence on any would be winning momentum, we can take stock of our lot, view upon a team that is nearing full strength but still weak in the ranks. Optimism is growing for returning talents and blossoming relationships however the Cherokee still circle the wagons waiting for the perfect opportunity to slaughter our hopes of survival.

We have been on a tortuous ride this season and the last, we yearn for excellent adventures and for A+ grades on our school reports. We want the team to deliver a show that astounds and excites but we’ll settle for saving average right now. Mostly…we want to reach the season end with at least a further three beneath our feet and for us all to chant into a next Premier season, ”Party On…Dudes!”

By Alf Gasparro

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