Monday, February 05, 2007

Hopping Mad

Aston Villa v West Ham, Villa Park, 3pm, Saturday February 3 2007.
The Hedrons, Little Civic, Wolverhampton, 9.30pm, Saturday February 3 2007.

Woke up Saturday morning unsure whether could be bothered to go to Villa Park and sit amongst the Villains while their side put the final nails in the coffin of the Hammers' turgid season. Then got a call from a friend, a tenacious D, who'd got a ticket going spare in the away end after a drop-out, so your correspondent's mind was made up for him. Seemed like a mixed blessing at the time, and sure enough that's the way it panned out.

Enjoying a few quick pints in the Wellington aforehand, your intrepid hack asked around a table full of Hammers season ticket holders which players they thought had a good season. There was an embarrassed silence as brains creaked around me before at last someone ventured an opinion. 'Christian Dailly's been...alright'. The fact that CD was by some way our worst player last time we went down three years ago, and is now considered our best player this term sums up our dismal predicament.

Another quick pint in a pub round the corner from the ground, where we bumped into a cheerfully dishevelled Nigel Kennedy, and into Villa Park we went. For 20 minutes or so we were reasonably comfortable at the back without really offering anything up front, but the calf injury sustained by £6.5m new signing Matthew Upson a few minutes later seemed to send fans, players and coaching staff into a syrup of self-pity we struggled to recover from. A Villa goal was the inevitable outcome, John Carew getting past our defence too easily to strike home with keeper Roy Carroll unable to get a strong enough hand to his shot. To say that the Hammers were piss-poor for the rest of the half would be an insult to the moral fibre of urinary secretions as well as being a ludicrous over-estimate about how well we could dribble.

There was a bit of improvement in the second half, but not so much that you'd have noticed until the last five minutes or so, when sub Matty Etherington started to make an impact down the flanks and a more direct, urgent approach produced three outstanding chances foiled by the crossbar and some fine instinctive saves from Villa's Danish keeper Thomas Sorenson. It was all too little too late however and over the course of the 90 minutes you'd have to say our clueless performance deserved what it got - nil points and almost certain relegation.

Having supported the Hammers for the best part of forty years Dead Kenny can safely say this is the sorriest set of players the club has ever had in the top flight. Not one person at the club can be satisfied with their contribution to the team's cause this term. Aside from the top four or five, the rest of the teams in the Premiership are patently rubbish, and yet we're worse than them. Worse than rubbish, and that's exactly why the final scoreline was Villa 1 West Ham 0, and precisely why we'll be playing the likes of Scunthorpe and Colchester next term.

Had a few more beers in town before stopping off in Wolverhampton on the way home to catch The Hedrons in the Little Civic. Various media pundits have described them as the missing link between Blondie, PJ Harvey, Penetration and The Runaways. Let's be frank, dear reader, they wish. But that's not to say that there isn't some fun to be had listening to the Glasgow girl group rattle through their brand of raw pop punk, recent single 'Heatseeker' and title track to new album 'One More Won't Kill Us' (released today, shelf-scouring fact fans) proving particularly pleasing. Lead singer Tippi (Hedron, geddit?) then does her party piece where she takes her extended mic lead and wanders through the (plentiful) empty spaces in the venue while singing climactic number 'We Are The Hedrons'. All very entertaining, although Dead Kenny wishes the foxy chanteuse hadn't got quite so up close and personal that she trod on his toes! Of all the things your stewed hack was expecting to say to her that night, 'OWWWWWWWW!!!!!!' wasn't top of the wishlist. We never knew we could pogo so well.


Post a Comment

<< Home