Canadians are priceless, even when they start out as Brits. So it is with the second of our West Ham v Sunderland previews. Adam Gutteridge, of Toronto but once of the London East End, treats Salut! Sunderland as a surrogate postal service, addressing his SAFC-supporting mate Bill Taylor, also of Toronto but once of Bishop Auckland (nr Toronto, Co Durham)…
Note to a friend who supports Soonerlan’:
Hello, me ole China, here’s the toon I’m singing these days:
Zola… oh, oh, oh, a, Zola. I’m not the world’s most passionate guy, but I love Clarke and Zola.
The two Chelsea lads have banished the Moaning Myrtle that was Alan Curbishley. (Curbs, no offence, mate, but you were a dull, competent midfielder and you weren’t no different as a manager.) The man spent half the time using injuries as, well, a crutch.
A mate of mine who knows a guy who knows a thing or two says Steve Clarke is about the best England has to offer.
And, let’s face it, West Ham’s defence had more holes than the proverbial slice of Swiss cheese for a while. Now he’s got ’em tighter than a pair of lederhosen and there spreading the Swiss (Valon Behrami) in the midfield.
And how about that job Zola did bringing young Jack Collison along? The man’s a Master Motivator. He puts a smile on everyone’s face (not like yer boy Roy).
Trouble is these two lads are out injured and another of Emile’s reclamation projects, the surprising Carlton Cole has been in and out like Flynn.
Which leaves player of the season Scott Parker and local lad Mark Noble on their lonesome with not much to fire at up front.
So West Ham’s season is all but over.
The ever-optimistic Zola won’t have any of this and it’s true that we could sneak a point or two and scrape into Europe, but I’m not betting on it. (This one ain’t like Our Trev. finding his man.)
Meanwhile, Sunderland’s season is just getting off the ground as the waves of relegation lap ever nearer. They got two of them West Ham castaways at the back to help stem the tide. (But, well, let’s just say it’s a good thing Freddie Kanoute’s not still around or I’d be forced to make a bad pun.)
John, Paul and Ringo on the left made for a fab four at the back at Upton Park and McCartney’s loss is Soonerlan’s gain.
Some Hammers still miss Anton in the middle of the defence. Him and Danny Gabbidon were the rock on which Alan Pardew took the team to within a whisker of winning the F.A. Cup not so long ago. So you got somefink good there, too.
I don’t know much about Ricky Can-I-Buy-a-Vowel Sbragia, but the bunch of buccaneers the Dark Lord (Rovin’ Roy) brought in look like one of them jigsaws of a shrubbery; who knows where the pieces go?
In the end it comes down to the coaching. Early doors, you gotta get a tight defensive system in place and build on that.
The Jokers from Roker have a coupla good pieces in the old Irons, so good luck to ’em. Otherwise it’s the Stadium of Shite next season.
Zola’s got this going at West Ham and the team is motoring. Next season we’ll have Behrami and Collison back and Gabbidon and Dyer will be putting pressure on their mates. Nsereko will be coming on and Deano Pizzaman Ashton will be back doing what he does like nobody’s business: Using his amazing footballing vision to find space undetected and hammer ’em home. For the half dozen games he’s fit, that is.
Green’ll finally be England’s keeper and Scottie Parker – as Big Lawrie used to say about Charlie George, “He’s a claass playa” – will get an England recall as people realize it all starts with ’im.
The Happy Hammers will go on a tear and win a cup or end up in Europe.
That’s if we’re not bankrupted first by: Freemasons, Icelandic bankers or clubs seeking compensation over the Tevez affair [INSERT CLUB NAME HERE].
East Bank have a Wank! West Bank have another!
All the Clyde,
Dirty Den, Bard of the Boleyn.