Monday, November 12, 2007

Hammers Plugging Along Nicely

We are 12 games into the Premier League season, and West Ham have 18 points and have conceded just 10 goals in league matches. For some perspective, after our heartbreaking 4-3 loss to Tottenham last season (earlier this calendar year), we had just 20 points from 29 matches. That precipitated the history-making run where we won 7 of 9 to finish with 41 points and stay up -- only just! No such battle against relegation looms this season, which is a credit to the managerial team of Alan Curbishley and Mervyn Day. The side has been decimated by injuries, yet there is a consistency of purpose that was not on display, for the most part, last campaign.
Two players are in the running for Hammer of the Year, so far, in my opinion. Goalkeeper Robert Green and striker Carlton Cole have been the rocks of the foundation on which our relative success has been built. How Green has not been called up for England beggars belief; his penalty save at Portsmouth summarizes the outstanding form he has shown this season. The imposing Cole may not be a great finisher, but he does the grunt work of a classic target man. His flick-ons, knockdowns and overall aerial prowess have been the often-unseen and underappreciated keys to many of our results so far. He has also overcome some early stick from the supporters, and has turned it around without any signs of petulance. Good on ya, mate!
Honorable mentions go to Matty Etherington and Matthew Upson, but it is Green and Cole carrying this team so far. We have a Carling Cup quarterfinal v. Everton at Upton Park to look forward to in December, and a key home match v. Tottenham in two weeks' time. Come on yewwwwwwwwwwww Irons !!!!!!!!!!!!!!