Monday, 16 August 2010

Chapter 3 – Opening Day Of The Season (vs Aston Villa, Away, Sat 14th Aug)

It was actually a great journey up to the Midlands today. Decent traffic, weather was a bit pants, but that’s the way it goes. From memory normally opening day of the season is a nice affair weather wise, sunshine and warmth. Not rain, thunder and lighting.

We arrive, grab some food from a Tesco that’s right near the ground an park up, it’s literally just gone midday, around three hours to kick off. Lunch is scoffed (for the record I had a cheese sandwich, bag of ready salted Walkers crisps and a grab bag of sliced apple pieces) and we settle in to listen to the Spurs vs Man City game on the radio. Outside the rain lashes down at a crazy pace and many a fan walk past us totally drenched. Rather them than us!

Around 2.30pm we make the 5 minute trip to Villa Park to discover we are with the Villa fans. It’s a good time to point out why. I end up going to quite a few games with a mate, Paul, who is in a wheelchair. So we are in the official wheelchair section and at Villa Park, it’s stuck with loads of Villa fans, the opposite side to the rest of the West Ham supporters. Great! Never a good thing as I think of previous times this has happened. The only blessing today is that both clubs wear claret and blue, so my replica shirt blends in a bit more. But the early need to relieve myself means a trip right into the heart of the Villa fans for which I cover my shirt up as much as possible to try to avoid any hassle. The hassle came later.

Anyways, the excitement of the new season is shattered when the team is announced. Green, Reid, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Faubert, Noble, Kovac, Parker, Boa Morte & Cole. Most of last years “flops” with added new singing, Winston Reid – a New Zealand international, making his debut for West Ham and playing right back. Not a good start, would have liked to see new signings Piquionne and Barrera feature from the start. It was announced that Hitzlsperger was out for this game, a shame for sure.

The game itself. WithVilla losing their manager just days before if we were gonna have a chance to beat them, surely this was it? But from kick off we were under pressure. I haven’t seen the replay, but the first goal looked offside from where I was. We just had nothing in reply to Villa, they passed the ball better, attacked with more invention and most of all they looked much fitter than we did. Reid on his debut looked shocking as well. Really terrible, hope he can improve big time, bloody needs to on that showing! But Villa ran us ragged, in every area of the pitch. We had none of the creative players on the pitch, no one who could really do something exciting. Avram Grant had sent out last years relegation fodder. Tomkins tried his best to give Villa more chances, giving Carew the best chance to score and he really should have. Half time, two goals down, it could have been much worse that’s for sure.

Positive start to the second half with Barrera and Piquionne both coming on, Boa Shitte, sorry Morte and Kovac making way. We played much better, attacked and created chances, very different from the first half. But looking weak at the back meant we conceded a third and couldn’t quite convert any chances up the other end. So a 3-0 defeat, a bad performance and I could have had no real complaints had it been 6 or 7 nil at the end.

During the game we had thunder, lightning and a huge down pour. Was kinda satisfying seeing these over paid footballers getting soaked whilst we stayed dry. The Villa fans opted to bee Robert Green at every chance. Yes he made an error in the World Cup, but should he be the scapegoat for the England team’s failure? No! Drawing to Algeria is pants, and the display against Germany was terrible, so many errors on the pitch, more blame to be placed around that just on Green’s shoulders.
But the way they booed James Milner, one of their own was crazy. Yes he might be off to Man City in a big money move, but instead of not playing, he’s out there giving his all for them. Funny how when he added a third they cheered and cheered. When he was taken off, they clapped galore. Funny how fickle some fans can be. Stick to your convictions. This is where the hassle started, not as bad as we have had before, but the Villa fan in front of us turned round and started to give us some lip. Giving it all “I didn’t boo Milner, I didn’t boo Green”. I was gave him lip back in the end along the lines off “well done mate, good for you, shame ya fellow Villa fans are as clued up as you then.” He was going on and on, even with my “Yeah mate, turn round, the game’s that way”. I fully admit I was being more than a little sarcastic in my tone and there was definitely a feeling it could explode. The stewards had words with him in the end, I mean come on dude, you’re winning 3-0, leave it out! If you get kicks from turning around and abusing fans stuck in wheelchairs, you obviously have a very sad existence. It’s not like we chose to be sat there, your crappy stadium plan dictates we have too, we would rather be with our own supporters. Total douche bag that bloke.

Back to the car, in the car park, Paul tries to reverse to turn the car round, to make it easier to get out when they re-open the road and we’re set free. But a jobsworth copper on a bike speeds up and parks behind him wagging his finger! The car park was pretty empty as well, it would have been no hassle, but he sat there being a twat. Good news is we managed to dodge some traffic and made it out and back in a decent time. No complaints there, just a shame the game was such a crap event from a West Ham fans point of view.

With Bolton up next, the team will need to be changed from what started. We’ll need an attacking team, especially against Bolton and especially being at home. The fans there will need to see something positive from the team. I bloody hope this is the case!

Written: 16th August 2010

Chapter 2 – vs Deportivo La Coruna (Home 7th August 2010)

My first visit this season to a game. I did do the stadium tour just a few days ago for my birthday, which was a truly awesome experience. Instead off just chatting I’m gonna talk about the whole day and the experience I had, might be better than just a match report.

So let’s see, the traffic up was shitty. The M25 was slow and it took me just over three hours. Through the roadworks I chose the two lane option rather than the outside lane that split off, bad move! Some poor sod had broken down and therefore whilst the outside lane whizzed off, we were stuck for miles as everyone had to filter in, not much fun. The matter was made worse that I was suddenly gagging to drain the lizard and eventually managed to get through and make a dash into South Mimms service station. Phew! The rest of the journey was fine to be fair and I chose the park 20 minutes away, walk to the ground option. The normal chicken steak burger was purchased from the usual dodgy fast food shop. For something that is advertised at 99p, they always say £1. I never grumble though.

I had the idea of pre-ordering the new West Ham shirt before the game for easy collection. My plan was in theory a great idea but was thwarted when getting into the rammed club shop I had to queue up in the snake like affair and wait 35 minutes with everyone else parting with 40 notes for the new shirt.

Making the time about 2.45pm gave me time to head round to the Bobby Moore stand where I generally always sit. The ticket was a birthday present and the seat ended up just slightly off centre behind the goal, maybe 15 rows back, pretty good indeed. Settling in I had a kid next to me maybe about 10 who was with I’m guessing a chap who was his Dad who seemed to talk crap to the kid all game. Kept saying how great Scott Parker is, which is a fair comment and one I would agree with, but when praising Parker for something on the pitch that was actually Mark Noble I could feel myself getting more and more annoyed with him. He was just talking bollocks to this kid, I’m not sure if he goes to see us play often, but from the comments, I’m guessing not.

The game itself was a lack lustre affair, a solid 0-0 draw with minimal chances really. But in a pre season game it’s nice to not get injuries and you almost expect players to be easing off a bit. Nice chance to see some of the new signings. So after 90 minutes a penalty shoot out was to decide the outcome which luckily enough was to be right in front of me!

Anyways, we won the shoot out 5-3 and the hero was of course our goalie, Rob Green. Yes, that Rob Green on the now infamous England howler at the World Cup when that feeble USA shot squirmed in. It was always written for him to do well and I am pleased he excelled here. Should give his confidence a massive boost ahead of the new season – lovely stuff, well needed indeed.

A pretty positive feeling as I left and I’m hopeful for the new season. First up, Aston Villa away on Saturday and I’ve just seen that they’ve parted ways with their manager, hope this is going to work in our advantage and not theirs!

Written: 9th August 2010

Chapter 1 – Pre-season and new season hopes!

Those of you still reading who know about football will know my beloved West Ham have a new manger in place for next year, Avram Grant. I have to admit I feel confident that he will get us playing well and do a good job, bloody hope so! We have a few new faces as always happens during the Summer, but I was surprised not to see more leave yet. But the transfer window is still open as I write and many changes could easily be the case. Speculation suggests we may sell Carlton Cole and buy Yakubu. Right now I’d say bad move, but if it happens, let’s see if it comes off. Maybe this is why I am not a manager. Also I’d like to cash in on Upson, get rid of Dyer (won’t make a difference as he never plays anyway), Boa Morte should have gone and not been given a new contract, maybe the time is to cash in on Behrami as well. Also we should get shot of Gabbiadon, Spector and Tomkins. Yeah this leaves us lacking in defence, but surely we can get someone decent in.

We’ve had a decent pre-season actually. The first team have so far played 7, won 5, drawn 2 (of which one we won on penalties) – not like us, maybe it’s a good omen! Like to think so!

So, the new season…I really don’t fancy another relegation battle. Mid table obscurity this season would be fine by me, then push on for the top half of the table next year. I am realistic, we’re not going to be pushing for those European places, we just don’t have the cash available that the likes of Man City have. It’d be nice if we did. So I’m gonna say we’ll finish 12th this season, or maybe 13th… no 12th! Let’s go for it!

Written: 9th August 2010

The Football Season commeth...

I thought I might scribble a little bit about football on here as well. I do realise loads of people will probably already have switched off from the rest of this by now, I understand that this is a massive possibility and I hope a few of you are still left reading.

Of course to get rid of a few more, I will take this opportunity to point out that I am West Ham United fan. Goodbye many more readers. Those of you still with me are either football fans, fellow Hammers or just wondering what crap I’m on about – anyways, thanks very much, I salute you!

I have spoken both in Lights Go Out and other zines about my love of West Ham and I could quite easily write about how hard it can be to be a fan of a club that never win anythying, hell not even that many games recently, but it’s been done time and time again. Instead, through the coming season I’ll try to relive the season step by step for you. It might work, it probably won’t – but tough shit, I’m gonna give it a go anyways!

Written: 9th August 2010

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


So last night I finally got to see Civet at the Camden Underworld and it was awesome!!!

This is the review I'll be running in the next issue of my zine, Lights Go Out (

London, Camden Underworld 09/08/10

Just made it into this show to catch the last few songs by Mike TV. A band I’ve heard lots about, formed from the ashes of Pickled Pick. It’s pop punk, they’re very good at it, frontman has a decent voice, but it’s pretty generic for me to be honest with ya. Definitely good at what they do though, so pop punk fans would love them!
Born To Lose are an American band who I’ve never heard before. But as the set draws on they just get better and better and I find that I too am moving along to the tunes. If you take all the good bits of bands like Rancid, Avail, Bouncing Souls and Dropkick Murphys and roll them into one band, this would be Born To Lose. Passionate songs, killer riffs and loads of sing-a-longs, totally impressed by them and I am regretting not getting a CD already.
So onto Civet, a band who have already been in these hallowed pages and whose album is amazing, but can the Civet ladies cut it live? In a word…YES! They’re brash and powerful with huge crunchy power chords, fast drumming and pounding basslines. With the gravelly angry front vocals of Liza Graves mixed in with the melodic backs ups from Jacqui Valentine, Suzi Homewrecker and Roxie Darling it’s easy to see that Civet are really onto something here. Hailing from Long Beach, California, they have a sound that mixes the anger of riot grrrl bands like Babes In Toyland, with Hole, The Distillers and even Motorhead into a faster, grittier punk rock sound. Back in the 90’s a band called Fluffy were very similar to this! The whole set was a 150mph punk rock rollercoaster, but highlight were tracks like “Hell Hath No Fury”, “Pay Up”, “Son Of A Bitch”, “Alibis”, “Take Me Away” and the Tim Armstrong of Rancid co-written “All I Want”, which is a poppier affair & really easy to sing along too. A powerful, ballsy set from Civet tonight, a truly great band!
Mr. T

Thursday, 29 July 2010

They're knocking my old school down!

I recently got informed that they were going to knock my secondary school down to build some swanky new flats as they are building a new school. Now I can’t pretend that I enjoyed my days at St. Barts school, although I did go onto sixth form and completed 7 whole years there.

The option was there to have one last tour of the school before it is demolished. My first thoughts were wondering if I could press the button to start the wrecking ball in motion. But over a few weeks I started wondering if I should go and visit the school one last time.

Would it be interesting walking the halls again, seeing the places I used to hang out? I’m sure now I’m older the school wouldn’t feel as big as it did back then, but do I actually have good memories from those days?

I never particularly enjoyed school unless it was one of the days we had P.E. and I got to play football or do athletics. I hated rugby and cricket terms. It wasn’t that I was super shit at school, not a trouble maker, I was just totally bored by it if I am honest.

As I got older I got in trouble for long hair and scruffy Dr. Marten’s. But I was forced for five years to attend this place and kinda felt like I was expected to attend the sixth form, so did, but didn’t really apply myself to it at all.

My favourite memories of school really involve the parties we had in the sixth form and having my mates back to my house at lunchtime. I lived a two minute walk from the school, so we all used to pile back to mine and eat more toast than should actually be humanly possible!

My memories obviously have little resemblance to the actual school though so what should I do, make one last visit or not?

With the closing date looming, a decision needed to be made. The fee to visit was just £5….so what do I do?

Fuck it, I hated that place, good riddance to it being knocked down!


So yeah I kinda forgot about this place, or maybe I could say I was too busy to actually have anything to write about. Which one could it be?

So I scribble loads of small things every now and then. Yes I am fully aware that most of the stuff I write is a load of old pony, but this exists just for me to be able to get the stuff online.