Londonist United: Week Eleven

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 117 months ago
Londonist United: Week Eleven
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The travails of our fantasy football team of capital-born players. Read previous entries here.

January 30th, 2008: Barack Obama was an outsider for the Democratic nomination, Boris Johnson that affable bloke who often presented a popular TV quiz show, and the word "credit crunch" had yet to become a fixture on the dinner party conversation circuit. It was also the last time West Ham managed to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League, as they beat Liverpool 1-0 at the Boleyn Ground.

This weekend saw the visit of Everton, and for a time on Saturday it seemed that a similar result would be recorded. The Hammers were leading by a single goal until the final ten minutes when, in a four minute spell, they conspired to concede thrice, sending them to yet another defeat. They've taken just one point from their last six games, have slithered down the table quicker than a corpulent firefighter down the station pole, and are washed up in a deceptively comfortable 14th position which, upon closer inspection of the curiously skewed Premier League table, is just two points healthier than bottom-placed West Brom.

The wind has been knocked out of Gianfranco Zola's team, and for a side whose off-field affairs are looking dicey, a relegation battle is most unwelcome as there is little financial muscle to bail them out come the January transfer window. And for our part, the dismal defence is particularly distressing, what with Robert Green, London's sole native-born goalkeeper, tending the West Ham sticks. Mothers and fathers of London - for Pete Shilton's sake, buy your offspring a pair of goalie gloves this Christmas.

Elsewhere, new Pompey boss Tony Adams made the baffling decision during his first games in charge to drop the hitherto prolific Jermain Defoe from his team. Restored for the game away to Sunderland on Saturday, the diminutive Beckton native slotted a 90-minute penalty home to secure his team's first points under the new gaffer. Much as we should hold the Romford-born Adams in esteem, his questionable decision to drop Defoe goes up there with some of his gems as a BBC pundit, which included suggestion, voiced during Euro 2004 when Wayne Rooney was running wild through the competition, to drop the then-teenaged Liverpudlian to the bench.

For the league leaders Chelsea, it was business as usual, despite an atrociously rain-sodden Ewood Park pitch making it difficult for players to remain upright let alone craft football of quality. Perhaps unusually, given the circumstances, formerly strop-happy striker Nicolas Anelka bagged both goals, the first "assisted" by our very own Frank Lampard - though it was hardly the most well-worked goal you'll see, a lumped Lamp shank deflecting off Anelka's thigh and wrong-footing Blackburn's Paul Robinson who, despite ending up on the losing side, has seen his form reinvigorated since leaving Spurs. Perhaps the same could work for our poor boy Green?

Last Updated 10 November 2008