Shit Happens

Jess Whitehead
August 31, 2012

It has been exactly 11 days since the start of the Premier League season (or it would have been, had I gotten this up earlier -ed), and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it (except for the Arsenal-Sunderland opening game . . . what a waste of DVR space). West Ham has had two interesting, if not inspiring, games and have succeeded in cementing themselves into my heart for reasons I will list below.

The season opened for West Ham with a home game against Aston Villa, which resulted in a 1-0 victory for the Hammers. Midfielder Kevin Nolan scored a totally awkward goal around the 40 minute that kind of looked like he was offsides, but the ball actually bounced off the head of a defender before he touched it, so it was legit. Nolan, Carlton Cole, Mark Noble and Alou Diarre stood out on the field and definitely were responsible for the bulk of the action on the Hammers side. Overall, West Hamís passing needs some real work (as in they need to start doing it), but they did look super tough on the field and made a lot of nice tackles/dispossessions. This is a rough team. I feel like two thirds of them wear my favorite cologne Ė “Beer/Cigarettes.” They definitely didnít dominate this game, but I was pleased to open the season with a victory.

Their second game was versus Swansea City at Swansea. Swansea is in Wales and literally must have the most beautiful sea on the whole planet because thatís all anybody ever talks about. Swansea was riding high going into this game because they completely trounced Queens Park Rangers the previous week in a 5-0 victory. On our side, the Hammers had just signed midfield winger Matt Jarvis from Wolverhampton for a bunch of money.

In the first half of the game, we made two major mistakes. First, the goalie, Jussi Jaaskelainen, botched a really easy save, allowing Swansea to score their first goal. Second, Welsh defender James Collins tried to kick the ball back to the goalkeeper, but instead basically passed it right to Swanseaís new pick-up, Michu, who was completely undefended only yards from the goal. Obvi, he popped that biscuit right in the basket, giving the Swans a 2-0 lead over the Hammers.

I was hopeful going into the second half. Even the announcers said “Donít count the Hammers out yet.” On the positive, they were really strong with set pieces; every corner landed in the box and most connected with a Hammerís head (haha get it?? Hammerhead . . .). Again, West Ham looks so strong when it comes to tackling and dispossessing. That happened about every 20 seconds. Unfortunately, we didnít know what to do with the ball once we got it. We definitely didnít move it forward or create any real goal scoring opportunities in the whole 90+ minutes of the game. Yeah, so that needs a little work . . . Swansea ended up scoring again in the second half, the details of which I have blocked from my memory. If we didnít let up those two goals in the first half, I really think this could have been a different game. We might have had a little more drive and could have figured out how to make something happen. But you know what? Shit happens. Iím not worried . . . neither should the West Ham lads.

My “I totally love you” award of the week goes to Carlton Cole. He is really fun to watch because heís pretty aggressive on the field and also doesnít give a shit. He actually laughed in the face of the ref when he gave him a yellow card. I read on the internets that Cole may be getting sold to Redding, which would be sooo lame. Itís unclear whether it will actually happen and whether or not Cole actually wants to go to Redding. I personally know he doesnít, because he wants me to watch him play rough every week.

Next week, we face Fulham. I would love to say weíre going to win this game, but Iím pretty sure weíre not. Fulham held their own last weekend against Manchester United, giving them way more of a game than they should have. Iíd be happy with a tie.

Figure 1: Hooliganism

Figure 1: Hooliganism
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