A Ho Ho Ho!!! Here comes just the Crimbo present the poor misfortunate Hammers need to break a run of disappointing results. The good news began in midweek with the overturning of Carlton ‘Killer’ Cole’s red card conviction for extreme ultraviolence in the Everton game. The joy seems certain to continue as the Hammers seek revenge for two severe drubbings at the hands of a rampant Reading in last years Championship which ended with an aggregate score of 7-2 in favour of the Royals.
Sadly for the Berkshire Braves, fortunes have changed considerably since entering the top flight and with half of their season complete, they rest joint bottom of the Premier league with just a single win in 19 games. This is principally because they have conceded a whopping 37 goals – more than any other club, possibly in the history of footie itself! The Royals desperately need a Tevez-like player to turn things around but sadly, Jason Roberts is no Argentinian magician.In case we forget: there's always hope, always!
Meanwhile, the Hammers have gotten up a head of steam in the afterglow of the verdict in the Carlton Cole enquiry and are now also seeking to have the 2-1 scoreline overturned as it would have been inevitable that with eleven men that they would have overrun a modest Everton side. If this proves successful, it can only be a matter of time before they appeal the injustice of the last minute Stevie-G goal that denied them a Cup final victory as recently as 2006. The Hammer’s case will be founded upon the observation that the scouser feigned injury and should have been asked to leave the field to seek much needed medical attention rather than be allowed to sneak around the edge of the Hammer’s 18 yard box mooching for knock downs.
As for the Royals, they will be calling on all available supporters to row in behind their cause as they seek to escape from the hopeless position they find themselves in. This will require their celebrity fans in particular to add their magic to the cause. Cure bassist Simon Gallup will undoubtedly respond to the call and whip out the Reading FC flag that he regularly drapes his on stage bass stack with.
Cure frontman Robert Smith is also closely aligned to a club that likes to dress up as prison inmates – but in his case it’s to the blue and white hoops of QPR! With the two sides hopelessly marooned at the foot of the Premiership, fans are wetting their lips for a return to the angsty delights of early Cure product and looking forward to the band exorcising their relegation dysphoria with tunes of the standard of classics such as “Boys don’t cry (except at moments of major sporting significance)” and “Why can’t I be (Man) U?”. Unconfirmed rumours suggest that recently rejoined keyboardist and former wild man Lol Tolhurst is a devout follower of Southampton FC.
Finally, Sports medicine expert Dr Sam Allardyce has called for fitness tests for the pitifully overstretched referees who bobble about the Premiership hoping to occasionally make a correct call. However, his suggestion that salivary testing could assist in this process has already been criticised as an underhand means of gathering genetic material in order to create a race of referee superclones who could be used to deal with the many law and order issues that confront modern society since the demise of the ‘on the beat’ bobbie. It is thought that with the assistance of the UK’s omnipresent CCTV system, that these superrefs would NEVER make a bad call – thus contrasting with today’s hapless whistleblowers who are forced to make instant decisions on incidents that are frequently embellished by no small amount of thespianism on the part of our soccer ‘sportsmen’.
Maybe if video footage could be used to review incidents where players are cited for obvious cheating and linked to meaningful punishments for offending players and their clubs, perhaps managers would be less likely to offer the ‘I didn’t see the incident’ kop out that bedevils the game. However, that would be an unsettlingly logical move.
And finally finally, while we are identifying a complete and enduring solution to the problem of referees, has anybody observed the startling contrast between player-referee interactions in rugby and footie?Errr, perhaps not a totally modern phenomenon after all