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383 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - What's the answer to t... · 0 replies · +1 points

You won't get there until you have EV4EL - the Scots are avid EU fanatics, centralisers and planned economy enthusiasts. England won't get anywhere with this block of Socialist votes holding the balance of power.

One step at a time.

392 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - Wanted: Champions to f... · 0 replies · +1 points

The most important line was the last one:

Meet the New Boss - Same as the Old Boss.

420 weeks ago @ Conservative Home - Conservatives should s... · 2 replies · +39 points

"But many who have warned of the dangers of immigration have underestimated the speed with which the new arrivals would become British"

But also, most underestimated the effect that those who NEVER became British would have. It's not just the numbers but the extremity of cultural differences that have been fostered under the banner of multiculturalism. In East London where I grew up, when I return to watch my local football team, the mile walk takes me past three mosques and a foreign language cinema, none of the businesses are owned by people I would have recognised as my neighbours only thirty years ago, and the language I hear is predominantly not English.

If I walk in the other direction away from the ground, the only thing that looks like England is the weather.

When such change occurs over such a short space of time, it creates massive strain on the people who struggle on the longest to retain something of their original local identity. I am not one of them - but find myself spiritually homeless in the rural area I and my family resettled to for other reasons in the late 80s but with no 'home' to return to - like a cosseted cultural refugee. Soon we will stop returning, the football ground is scheduled for demolition and I will never revisit the immediate area. There will be no point.

513 weeks ago @ West Ham Till I Die - Vote: Player Performan... · 0 replies · +1 points

BS looks more and more rattled behind the bullish facade every week. He knows we are in a spot of bother, his way is not to acknowledge that publicly. I can understand that to a degree, he has his own way of approaching things. We can see what is going on easily enough. We don't have a fully fit side that fits BS's game plan, so he is trying to convert players to the shape he wants and is finding is difficult to make work.

It now looks like the Jan transfer window didn't really work out very well for us. Maynard/Cole as a strike force would have been very good - but Nolan & Noble are not so good in a 4-4-2, and that has reduced opportunities for that to happen. Vaz Te is not really a wide man, nor is Baldock, so we struggle on the right. Faubert has worked hard but has been hit and miss at times. Sadly, Carew is off the pace. He's only just fit so to play him last night when we were desperate for a win was plain daft and no blame attaches to the player.

So square pegs n round holes, all our most effective players bar Noble are played out of position:
Tomkins, not a midfielder.
Maynard, Not a winger
Collison, Not a winger
Cole, not a lone strike man
Baldock, not a winger

I would like Sam to look at what we have and build a tactic around the players that are fit.

Faubert(if fit)/Lansbury-----------Noble----------------Collison/Morrison----------Taylor

If Faubert definately is fit, Lansbury could play in the middle. In a straight pick, Nolan or Noble I would pick Noble every time. We need attack and pace, I think it is time to find ut what Morrison is made of.

Time to play a shape which will give the players a little confidence.

514 weeks ago @ West Ham Till I Die - Purge Your Negative Th... · 0 replies · +1 points

Better 'inside the tent #@"£$ outwards' maybe?

514 weeks ago @ West Ham Till I Die - Purge Your Negative Th... · 0 replies · +1 points

Up in the East Stand Upper I have never heard any booing during the game (apart from when El Haj Diouf got the ball last Saturday, or for the odd refereeing decision).

I don't like the booing after the game either. But its notable how the atmosphere in the ground changes very quickly when the team starts passing the ball about. At the beginning of the second half of the Donny game, we strung about 15 passes together, had Donny chasing the ball - the crowd picked up very quickly and you could see that in the response from the players.

Sam brings problems on himself by being so negative. Negative football breeds negativity in the stands. It becomes cyclical, and with the exception of October 15th I feel we have been on the back foot at home because of it.

Injuries and suspensions have robbed us of a cohesive line up since Christmas, so it was always going to be difficult, but now we have to just go for it because draws won't be enough.

514 weeks ago @ West Ham Till I Die - Vote: Player Performan... · 1 reply · +1 points

I have looked back at the posts I have written here over the last year, to see if I ever really thought it was beter than it is now. In truth, I was nonplussed at Allardyce's appointment, though I could see that there were positives he could bring and was fairly satisfied with many of the away results and performances against (admittedly poor teams in) Forest and Watford.

What I have never been able to find is any point at which I was happy with the play. After every game the same things have been evident; lack of width, lack of service, lack of direct passing and movement, lack of positivity.

For a squad with such talent, we are unimpressive to watch. A team which suffers from a fear of failure, not one motivated to win.

What Sam has done, and I fully acknowledge, is to instill some backbone. Early results away from home helped this. But that early confidence is gone, and Sam is no Fergie - he canot create that kind of siege mentality that allows a team to play poorly and still grind out wins week after week.

I have thought for quite a while that Sam had lost the dressing room to a degree. I don't think the players have much confidence in him, or his style of play. They might have reluctantly knuckled down under it because we have ground out results, but now that we have effectively been sussed out by other more creative managers I think it is wearing thin. That's why you see so much shouting from Nolan and BS, players want to play to win, they are crying out for a better system. Especially Baldock, Cole and Maynard.

I have said before that BS had a real opportunity to throw off the mantle that he had previously accepted as the last of the 'anti-Football' managers. We were possibly the only club where as a fanbase, we would have stomached a few losses in return for trying to play exciting football, given him time to get it working. I don't think that is going to happen now, he has deliberately spurned the opportunity. That will mean that he now only has one chance to win promotion - this one - or it probably is the end for him in top flight management. I believe that's where some of the defensiveness comes from.

At the end of this season, if we fail to be promoted, this team will be broken up. Green will leave, other high wage earners like Nolan and Vaz Te will probably be gone. Maynard and Baldock might well be the subject of bids too. The owners might still be proven right and BS might still grind out the results we need. But I doubt it now. Failure to win promotion will be a disaster for G&S, they will have backed the wrong horse with a big pot of cash, and most of it will have been wasted.

I fear that without promotion we might be in serious financial trouble if we cannot cut costs even further at the end of this season. It's squeaky bum time, so all we can do is get behind the team and hope for the best. We are still in touch with the leaders, and it is still distinctly possible that an opportunity will be handed to us by our opponents. We still have Reading to come to Upton Park.

COYI - let's put aside our reservations over BS and be the 12th man for the rest of this season

514 weeks ago @ West Ham Till I Die - Should Ravel Start? · 1 reply · +1 points

The important feature there is that Nolan is pushed up into the role of supporting the striker/ creating an outlet upfront.

When he drops deep he and Noble get in each others way, and we lose a vital force going forward. Nolan is the reason for CC getting isolated, and although he hasn't had the best season I really think CC has more to offer

514 weeks ago @ West Ham Till I Die - Should Ravel Start? · 1 reply · +1 points

We should stick to 4-5-1 away from home, look to boss the midfield and keep possession as much as possible. Whether RM fits into that structure is yet to be seen.

At home, impatience gets the better of us and the long ball / high ball / through ball is played often too early, where there isn't really space or support for the front man (usually Cole). Away we have more patience and that has worked in our favour. Have to stick with that approach really because it is earning us vital away points.

It's at home we need to see real changes.

515 weeks ago @ West Ham Till I Die - Playing Away · 0 replies · +1 points

From the games I have seen the big difference between home and away games is not necessarily us, but the oposition.

When we play away from home, the opposition has its own fans there urging attacking football. Attacking football leaves spaces for counter attacks. We are able to use our positive aspects, pressing higher up the pitch, a tighter defensive strategy, to neutralise and frustrate the home side. This also helps the long ball, because there is likely to be a moment or two in a game where Cole has the space to bring down the ball and put Nolan or Baldock into a good position.

At home, we seem to be trying to employ the same tactics, and it clearly isn't working. With both teams digging in for a draw or trying to nick a 1 goal win the games are often a bit turgid and predictable. Fans don't like to pay money for turgid, and the negativity spirals. The crowd get restless, the stadium is quiet. The players get more and more nervous and then start to make basic errors because they are not opening up the opposition. Then the impatience sets in, in the stands and on the pitch. We see too many speculative long balls, or through passes which get cut out easily. Heads go down, and then the one defensive error gets pounced on and the result is gone.

With the injuries we have suffered, tactical changes are restricted. SA might seem continually bullish in public but in private I bet he is seriously rattled. Remember that since Bolton Wanderers he has been fired twice for the same reason - the fans or the chairmen didn't like the football. It wasn't the results, it was the entertainment. That pressure makes errors of judgement even more likely at home. If he fails in this job, that's it for him - he probably couldn't recover from that, and I think that might be key in his cautious aproach. Nothing but promotion this season will be seen as success.

I try to be positive at games, try to encourage. I am a fan after all. But while Sam sets the team out with the current tactics at home I think he makes it really difficult for himself, and for the fans and the players. Opposition teams know how to deal with us now - changing th personnel on a weekly basis won't help, but allowing them to play a bit more to their strengths at home just might, and on current home form I just don't see what he has to lose by trying something new.