Monday, January 26, 2004

David Connolly, Marlon Harewood and Christian Dailly celebrate: CD plays with his eyes closed like that, you knowLife's Not Feher

Spent a pleasant Sunday afternoon at Molineux where Alan Pardew's Claret And Blue Army made short work of a woeful Wolves side to stroll out 3-1 winners in the 4th Round FA Cup tie, and now travel to winners of the Fulham/Everton replay in the 5th Round. The Hammers looked bright and sharp from the start, a sweet volley from Brian Deane opening the scoring and then a well-worked and intricate free-kick led to an overhead kick from Marlon Harewood to make it two. On-loan left-back Jon Harley then got caught in possession and Wolves pulled one back, but the two-goal lead was restored when David Connolly sprung the off-side trap and knocked in the third.

In the second-half it was just a case of who would prove to be the worse - our defenders or Wolves strikers? No contest in the end, as three gilt-edged chances went begging to Leon Clarke and Colin Cameron, and for once we held onto a lead. A very satisfying victory that has helped escalate optimism amongst West Ham fans following the recent acquisition of Wimbledon wunderkind Nigel Reo-Coker. All of our forward players looked up for it and rookie keeper Steve Bywater is gaining confidence all the time. We did look very vulnerable in the full-back positions though, and Christian Dailly still gives a major cause of concern - a 30-year-old club skipper and experienced international should be leading by example but he looked like a rabbit caught in headlights whenever he had possession of the football. Honestly, I've seen more bottle in a plastic carton factory.

No doubt this will prove to be another false dawn and we'll lose 4-0 home to Rotherham on Saturday, but until then we're determined to enjoy ourselves, and who can blame us? Although two emerging stories over the weekend dampened the mood somewhat - according to the Express And Star a West Ham fan was stabbed in a fracas outside the Moon Under Water pub in town, and with eery echoes of last year's Marc-Vivien Foe tragedy, 24-year-old Benfica striker Miklos Feher has died of a suspected heart attack after collapsing on the pitch (link via If Then Else).

Weather permitting, I'll be off to Birmingham tomorrow to watch Franz Ferdinand, The Von Bondies and The Rapture on the NME tour at the Carling Academy. And while we're talking gigs, get your tickets for the upcoming Yeah Yeah Yeahs mini-tour of the UK while you still can. Parallax View recommends urgent response on this one.

Dunno 'bout you, but I'm starting to get all nostalgic for global warming.


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