Opposition Q & A

Opposition Q&A with Aston Villa

Back to the grill again. This week West Ham take on a rejuvenated Aston Villa in a Monday night game at the London Stadium. Ahead of the game I once again chatted to James Rushton managing editor of Aston Villa blog 7500 to Holte to discuss everything Claret & Blue.

Hi James, the last time we played was at the very end of last season, when you got a point at our place to keep you in the division. A tense end to the season, were you at all worried on the day?
Yep, I was terrified! Anything can happen in football, and one moment of bad luck could’ve ended it for Villa – thankfully, that didn’t happen and we’re still going. It was a nailbiter though.

This season you’ve had an incredible start including that phenomenal victory against Liverpool. That must have been a happy day! What’s caused the change in form?
I think we’ve toned down our naïve attacking intent a little, and focused a little more on quick counters. It’s worked wonders and the system with a deeper line and a quicker forward in Watkins is making all the difference.

Jack Grealish looks to be getting better and better, you must have breathed a heavy sigh of relief when he signed his recent contract? What are his main attributes?
Absolutely. I think he’s quite unique, his change of pace and when dribbling and the fact he can cut across players with ease stands out for me. He’s got all he needs to be one of the very best players in Villa’s history. He’s also got a brilliant eye for a pass, and he just makes it look so easy.

Tyrone Mings also seems to be having a good season from where I sit. Is he deserving of a permanent place in the England squad?
I know people pick on Mings for some of his errors, but as a left footed and progressive defender, he’s worth a call-up for that alone! He’s solid, mostly reliable and has grounded Villa’s defence. I really like him.

Villa have got a few players in during the close season, who of your new imports are impressing you?
EMI Martinez has been a revelation. I genuinely didn’t think a Villa goalkeeper could be so consistently good! Worth every single penny. Seems to block everything, make all the right decisions even when he concedes and is a leader.

Although you beat Arsenal a couple of weeks ago, you’ve had a couple of poor results as well recently, where do you realistically see Aston Villa finishing at the end of this season?
Momentum could die out quickly, but I like the way we take to away fixtures. We seem to spring out, hit hard and hit fast. We are perhaps overconfident at home and gear that approach up too much. I’d love a top ten finish, but anywhere from 10-12, where I think we’ll finish, will be a massive sign of progress.

At the moment you sit just above us in the table, but with amongst others, both Manchester clubs, and the aforementioned Arse, where do you think West Ham will/can finish?
I think you might be in the same boat as us, maybe a little better or maybe a little worse. We’ve had positive starts and now we make the most of it – or try to. Maybe 11th?

Still early days, but while we’re in the mood, who will win the League, and who will fill in the next three positions?
I believe Liverpool will take it again. Backed up by Liverpool, Chelsea and maybe Spurs? I think the latter side could wing it this season.

Who are your three early picks for relegation?
Honestly, it was us, you and maybe West Brom or Fulham? I was a little wary of the Baggies’ momentum coming up. However, that prediction seems to be a load of tosh now.

How will Aston Villa line up against West Ham on Monday? Players/formation?
Pretty much how we did last time, apart from the new players. It’s always a variation on the 433 and the only thing that changes is the role of a few players. Grealish, Watkins and Trezeguet will lead the line. McGinn, Traore and Douglas Luiz will be the likely midfield trio and Mings, Konsa, Targett and Cash along with Martinez will back us up at the back.

Finally, how do you see the game going on Monday, and are you confident if a victory? Prediction for score please?
I think Villa are a good away side, and not to take anything away from West Ham, but this should be a Villa victory based on prior evidence! 2-1 to the Villa.

Many thanks to James for his time and considerations. Although we haven’t played brilliantly in our last two games, we have still won, so I’m hoping we can continue that: 3-1 to West Ham. COYI

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Book Review

Book Review West Ham United 1965-1973

NOTE FROM IAIN: The Predictor League for Aston Villa on Monday is open HERE. Entries can be submitted until 6pm on Monday.

If you’re like me and wondering what on earth to ask for for Christmas or what to buy a Hammers fan for a present, then look no further than Alan Shubrooks’ beautifully produced book of photographs taken over an 8 year period of West Ham United’s home and away games.

A pictorial record featuring more than 1700 unseen photographs from 100 classic matches

As a young boy, Alans’ father would take him to see the Hammers play at Upton Park and when he became interested in photography and purchased his first single lens reflex camera, Alan decided to take photos of the matches from the stands. Caught amongst the push and shove of the packed terraces, Alan would try to capture the game, but it was not so easy and he desperately wanted to get closer to the action and join the press photographers near the pitch.

Bold enough to take an opportunity at the start of a home game, Alan walked over to where the press photographers were perched as the referee blew his whistle and eyes were fixed on the game, and embarked on an incredible journey that took him all over the country with the team to capture the highs and lows of top flight football. After this first match taking pictures near the goal, Alan went home to develop his film, anxious to find out if he had captured the game, and printed out a selection of photographs and the following morning post them to his local newspaper.

To Alan’s surprise, the photos he had taken were printed and so his journey began where Alan’s photographs that captured some of the most memorable games for the following years would be regularly printed both in the newspapers alongside match reviews and also used for the home match day programmes.

Throughout this journey Alan had a unique opportunity to capture some candid photos of the players, recording action both on the pitch but also behind the scenes, such as Frank Lampard in the ambulance after having broken his leg against Sheffield Utd on 27th April 1968. Alan, a young man full of confidence, stepped straight into the ambulance and took several shots of Lampard waiting to be taken to hospital. Following the team for 150 matches, Alan’s photos provide a detailed record of some of the most memorable games West Ham played, such as the 3-1 victory over Chelsea to move to 6th in the league on 27th January 1973. Or Ron Boyces’ testimonial on 13th November 1972. And Trevor Brookings’ hat trick against Newcastle on 6th April 1968.

Ipswich Town v West Ham United 23rd November 1968

There’s one match in the book where the action shots are amazing and stand out for me and that’s when West Ham played Ipswich Town away on 23rd November 1968. The shots show the physical nature of the game but demonstrate Alans craft where he managed to capture some fantastic in action shots. Hursts penalty from behind the goal, Miller leaping in the air after being brought down by Jefferson – these shots in particular looked fantastic in the newspapers after the game. The shots of Hancock, the Ipswich goal keeper, as he punches the ball illustrate the skill of Alan’s photography that help to make this book such a must have for any Hammers fan.

In the book Alan explains how he got to take these amazing photos, but also how different it was then for a photographer to record the matches, often with poor light and being limited to how many frames he could shoot. There was also the technical issue of developing the film and getting the prints sent off in time to be included in the newspaper match reviews. Alan found a very unique solution that meant he was able to travel back with the team on the train from places like Manchester and develop his film on the move. A far cry from how photographers images are now digitally uploaded during the game to be sent around the world!

Alan has scanned in 6000 images, editing them all to reveal an incredible record of the matches West Ham played, and also found some newspaper articles that were printed with his photographs from the time. Alan has researched each match to include the date and attendance figures as well as some key information and personal observations that bring the photographs to life and provide such a memorable record of West Ham United that feature legendary players such as Geoff Hurst, Trevor Brooking, Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds and many more such as Clyde Best, Frank Lampard, Martin Peters and John Sissons.

Alan agreed to be interviewed by me and spent time explaining how he took his photographs and put the book together as well as sharing some of his best memories of his time following the team and documenting their matches at both home and away games. Alan’s passion for the game, his photography and dedication to bringing these images together, encouraged by Geoff Hurst, has created a valuable record of some of the most memorable players of that time in action.

To order your copy, go to https://www.westhambook.com I chose the collectors set which includes a signed copy of the book with a dedicated personal message handwritten by Alan. You also get set of 5 10×8 inch glossy photos from classic 1960’s and 1970’s matches. A beautiful gold foiled presentation collectors box. A numbered certificate of authentication of the limited edition. I highly recommend this to any Hammers fan, young and old, as a wonderful trip down memory lane or as an incredible record of a particular time in the history of the club.

Special Limited Edition Box Set

Nigel Kahn’s Column

Is It worth it?

NOTE FROM IAIN: The Predictor League for Aston Villa on Monday is open HERE. Entries can be submitted until 6pm on Monday.

The government announcement that fans are finally to be allowed back into games has been broadly welcomed by many as a start to the return to what would be constituted as the “new normal”.

It’s been 10 months now since I last attended a game of football and I frankly I cant wait to get back into the stadium for the first time and finally watch a West Ham team that actually looks worth watching, but when we look at what the government have outlined as in numbers allowed, is it actually worth it and will it be a positive effect on the game that is being played? Also, the fact it relies on what tier you are in regards the number of fans allowed to attend how do they regulate the people attending and as some areas will be in higher tiers than others does competition fairness come into.

The government numbers are if the stadium is in a tier 1 area (lowest tier) then you can have 4,000 fans in attendance or half the capacity whichever is the lower.

Tier 2 area stadiums will only be 2,000 and tier 3 area stadiums will still be off-limits to anyone.

London as a whole prior to the current (so-called) lockdown was in tier 2 restrictions so that would restrict West Ham to 2,000 fans, but how do the club choose who attends? So we know the attendees will come from those fans that paid in full for their season tickets rather than the 30% deposit but should the club also have to factor where the season ticket holder lives. West Ham season ticket holders come not just from Newham or in fact just East London, (I know, was a shock to me as well) but from as from further afield. If a season ticket holder lives in Tier 3 but London is in tier 2 they are now discounted.

Newham’s own rate would put them into tier 2 but in Havering where many a Hammers season ticket now resides their infection rate is far higher. I get the government were buckling to the pressure from the Premier League clubs and other sports but this seems like an ill-thought out compromise. Just a couple of miles away in Leyton I’m sure the 2,000 fans will be a welcome addition at Orient but 2,000 fans hidden amongst the 66,000 seats the London stadium has is just nonsensical.

Saying that naturally if I was lucky enough in the ballot to get a ticket to one of the games played, I’d be at the game like a shot. Hopefully, the Boxing day game at home V Brighton, though if fans are allowed in the stadium my guess would be the game gets moved to the next day for TV.

Talking of TV, the clubs have now ditched the PPV model up until the end of December but that was when they thought no fans in the stadium until March, as was the government’s initial plan. Now with fans being let back into the stadium and money being paid by said fans to go to the game, should the status quo be retained and give every game for free to the masses (subscription still needed I know I know). That would surely be unfair on those going to the game.

The screening of every game should only remain while no fans in the stadium, once we have fans back then that has to stop and return to just the scheduled games on Sky & BT and the rest Kick-off on Saturday or Sunday if Europa league teams are playing.

Having 2,000 fans in a stadium does not cover anywhere near what it costs to put on the game so perhaps to recover some of those costs, they could agree to televise the game and charge those at home to watch it. It will be interesting to see what happens in that regard come to the January games, The 2,000 even 4,000, if any ground is lucky enough to be in a Tier 1 area, could be welcomed by the clubs so they can then justify the charging for the TV games outside of the packages. Once fans are back in stadiums they could point to it being the start of a return to normality that the fans have craved so the fans can’t have it both ways, we can’t have fans in the ground paying ticket prices and allowing the games to be shown on TV without extra costs to those at home.

I imagine the move will be unpopular with the masses who are now used to seeing as much Premier League football they want but fans need to realise that the clubs are losing money hand over fist. Ys the tv deal is the vast majority of their income but remember when they set their budgets, long before covid turned up, they still budgeted with the gate receipts being part of the income.

Fans being back is welcome but when I look at the bigger picture there are still more questions that need to be asked to see whether it’s a price worth paying for the small amount in the ground.

A group of West Ham content providers have been brought together by Nicky from West Ham TV to create content to promote local charities in Newham before Christmas.
We hope to help this year the Newham Recorder toy appeal by highlighting this great cause and pointing you, the West Ham fan base to their links to donate whatever you can to provide the thousands of children in the area that will be going without this Christmas.

For people wishing to choose a gift, or gifts, to purchase for a young person this Christmas, an Amazon Wishlist has been set up. This features an array of items – from hats and scarves to CDs and books – that the appeal organisers know would be suitable for those receiving presents and provides an easy way for people to purchase and donate directly.
You can do so here

Donations of items can be made in person to the Terence Brown Arc in the Park, in Bethell Avenue, Canning Town between 9 am and 1 pm Monday to Saturday

Of course, we are still promoting the Irons Supporting foodbanks campaign to supply advent calendars to as many children in Newham as possible. To donate to this cause you can either donate via the Just giving page

And make sure in the comment box you put Advent Calendars.

An advent calendar is only around £2 so any donation is welcome and will be put to good use.

Keep an eye out for your favourite content providers coming together to help raise money for these worthy causes.

Lastly, I and Canning Town Len have made a pilot episode of a new podcast, ‘Nigel & Len’s proper gander – a podcast where we invite a guest, whom we have so much in common with – but have a proper gander at what makes us all different’. Basically, we try to embrace what joins us together but also embrace what makes us all different, no matter where in the world we come from. You can listen here or wherever you get your podcasts from.

As it’s the pilot we are after feedback so if you like it let us know if you don’t go f…BEEEEEEEEEP

Oh no sorry, if you don’t we’d love to know why.

Until we meet on the other side

The Jimmy Cooney Column

"The MoyesMan Prophecies!" (Or "When things are Good, enjoy it")

First, I’d like to say Happy birthday to my father, the real Mr. Cooney, 76 years old today, and can still throw down!!!

(Just kidding), he is 6’3 and doing well, but he’s still fighting A fib in his heart, but his pneumonia has subsidized, and I swear, we though he had COVID. Thank God he did not.

I honestly had no idea what to write about. However now, there’s a few things, the support is going to be back allowed in after the 2nd or 3rd of December, (I’ve not had a chance to check out the details yet, been just a bit too busy, but we can definitely discuss that on the threads as part of the content, and most likely when you read this, we will all know more, …..) and, where I have mixed feelings about it, I think all sports really need the fans back, just short of endangering more outbreaks.

However, bringing the home guard and the away army back will only help this squad for for real, for real :)

The Sheffield United match has already been covered in literary, and spot on detail by David, Hamburg, Gav, and, hopefully by the photographic artwork by Dawud. However, imma put my twist on it soon.

However, with that subject sure to be discussed very frequently in the upcoming week, more so, will be first and foremost, the MNF clash and first of a possible two 6 pointers in a row with our Birmingham friends, Aston Villa., then Man U, (the club we beat the most but get the least amount of points from…..hmmmm….) ;-))

I’ll try to keep my moaning to a minimum ;))

I really can’t moan about Sunday, as a matter of fact, our form is one of the only things that is keeping me from pulling a “Falling Down” and “losing the plot” much like the 1993 classic film with Robert Duval and Michael Douglas as "D-Fens.

One big encouragement is , not just our squad, not just our our gaffer, or our position, but the most impressive aspect at this juncture, is the unity within the boot room right now.

I know, we are all waiting for the other shoe to drop, and where I’m not so stupid to think it’ll be this smooth the whole time, but a club like this don’t go down, and sometimes, wins the League Championship at 3000/1, like Leicester City the same year we got off to just as good a start as we have this year…….maybe just a wish, and an even longer shot, but just as crazy things have happened. (5 years ago……..)

My biggest complaint is a selfish one, it’s that I wish Soucek had passed it to Bowen in the first, instead of shooting it well wide left. so at least I could have made up points with Jer scoring the first West Ham Goal due to Johnson being on the bench, and Fredericks out, Diop on the bench, and Balbuena starting, (of which also worked out), and I did get “win” correct, not the score, however, but the only #’s I gave a crap about, came up on our side and that was 3pts for the Hammers in the top flight at Bramall Lane for the first time since 1968!

This overall has little bearing on me though, cos, our GD is still in the black, were in 8th thanks to a huge win for Burnley over Palace……

Is anyone else getting sick of them? Palace, that is? Other than missing Kouyate, Tomkins (I’m not starting the “who left who”, game with Tommo, I just miss him, he was just a good versatile defender, an academy grad, and a Dagenham lad, if I’m not mistaken… ) and other than coveting Wilfred Zaha??, I get annoyed by them, but I don’t disrespect them, since we’ve both been back, they have mostly gone back and forth with us, we’d win there, they’d win at Boleyn or London, the work of art that was Antonio setting Andy Carroll up with the scissors kick of Andy’s career, I’m sure.

Most importantly, however I think we need to get some vengeance on them this year by doing the “dub” on them. At least a draw there and a Win at home.

Now, even though I loathe Roy Hodgson, (as a manager, mostly, but I could see him getting on my nerves) still, don’t hate them as deeply as Wigan, Leeds, Chelsea, Spurs, Man U, and Bolton, Liverpool, and Wigan. (Did say that I hate Wigan yet? :) and few other clubs, Sheffield United but thats cos they hold something that ultimately was in their hands to begin with

Regardless of how that sounds, I’m VERY happy with West Ham United, and, given recent years trends, this was exactly the type of match that would have had the bookmakers favoring The Irons, yet, somehow, our lads would show up looking like they forgot how to play, just smoked bath salts, or huffed Tywall (a super solvent that is big with glue sniffers).

Not this year, however, we’ve met two potential banana peels, and walked close, cos both Fulham and Sheffield U were desperate to get something and a win respectively, however we navigated both fixtures with organization, shape, excellent field stretching, determination, and a little luck, but all together, this is a better side and are so due in a very large part in Kevin “Skipper” Nolan, Alan Irving, Xavi Valero, and Paul Nevin, and, the “MoyesMan Prophecy”! so far proving me, who, once again, myself, and about 68.7498475% of support are correct thus far that at this moment in time, he [David Moyes] couldn’t be a better gaffer for West Ham United.

I do want to point out a correlation between Kevin Nolan joining West Ham as a true center mid and Captain in 2011, and playing a big role in us getting back to the PL at the first time of asking. Within this, however is another story a more important story of a chain of events that has me calling Skip the “Grand Capt” cos even those two other blogs that shall shall remained unnamed, they ALSO called me delusional in the “autumn”….. of 2012, for; A. Suggesting that Nolan was grooming Noble to be a Captain, and B. That Noble would make a good Captain……. hmmm….. how’d that work out “Mr Roboto” ;-))

Now, like father to son, “Papa” Noble has mentored Rice, which, is probably what’s keeping him here, my guess is Dec is gonna give it this year, and if we finish in 6th or better, it’ll take 9 figures for Rice to leave if we do that well I think he’d give it another half of a season, and go from there, however, I don’t think Dec stays if not for this. Skip taught Noble how to be a proper Captain, and Nobes is teaching Dec, not only how to skipper, but how special the history of West Ham United is, how rare, but far loyalty can take you if you pay close attention, and if he played another 15 years for West Ham, producing 2 FA cups, no lower than a 10th place finish in that was time, and in 2027/28, the League Championship, maybe some of those “old school” values still exist.

David has a squad, that fights for him, each other, and dare I say, us! I’ve pointed out before, this is worth more that a clutch of individuals, however, our next text is Aston Villa, a early doors 6 pointer, who, if I’m honest, im more worried about that Manchester United, another early doors 6 pointer.

It’s our best start since 2015/16, which, in terms of years, is not that long ago, however in terms of perception, it’s a lifetime ago, (at least from my perspective). And we finished 7th which will split the difference of my original prediction before the season, but 7th killed us by that fair play thing, (which was funny cos we were called for amongst the highest pens that year, had we not, we’d have mostly likely finished 5, then, who knows….

Hindsight is always 20/20 (which, should be the first cuss numbers in history……..: “you horrible 2020!!! Go do one ya, sea ewe next Tuesday!”

Jack Grealish……. obviously the #1 threat, although, the whole squad, who’s form improvement has followed a similar track to us, last year, especially after the restart, they fought their way to safety by the time we met them in the penultimate match of the delayed ‘19/’20 season, in a 1-1 draw, that probably would have been a win had we not secured survival at Old Cheatford a few days before.

So, how do we keep this unbeaten streak going? Don’t think to much about it, change this starting XI ONLY when necessary. I only noticed a few things that I thought were a bit concerning, Bowen, was good, but he’s had better, and as hard as he works, he’s knackered by about 70, perhaps multiple contingencies could be thought of.

Next was Fornals, his work rate and attitude are second to few, and where I love his commitment to his teammates, he coulda maybe scored had he been a bit more selfish. If you see some daylight when you are at around the 20 yard mark, pull the trigger!!!

Haller, oh Haller……just as all those who want him sold in January, had me convinced, screaming at rj and about to look up a few posters, and yield to their assessments, cos he did not look that confident on the ball, and he and Bowen had a few moments in front of the keeper that Curly, Moe, and Larry, (and even Shemp) are looking on and saying…“gee whiz, that coulda been an amusing bit”, :)) Fornals takes the shot he shouldn’t, but fortunately, of the many blocks Sheffield’s defense put in (in think Sheffield are better than their record shows right now, they will be scrappin’ but ultimately, will survive I think), it rolls right in front of Haller and he shoots an Exocet right into the top right, which Ramsdale got a few fingertips on, but only to help tuck it into the top of the sack.

In spite of that, and just a few errant passes, we have lost one match in 7. My only issue is if Antonio is fit, he should start, and where I’m happy for Haller, and would rather add a striker instead of selling him for a loss in January, and getting a striker, I’d rather he keep improving to perhaps play in the same side as Antonio.

Since its been two on the trot, it’s not as much an issue, however Antonio is a phenom. A real life “Rocky” story from South London, every bit of success that comes his way he deserves, so to beat Villa, the only change I make, is Antonio for Fornals, I know, its rough, but if Antonio is 100% and you sit Haller after opening his PL account, that would pretty much be tantamount to asking him to put in a transfer request, therefore, if Antonio is fit, 3-1 Irons, if not, Villa won’t let us get away with the few, but glaring miscues made Sunday and I could see a 2-3 home loss. Or more likely a draw.

I don’t see any reason we cannot win the next two, I’m honestly not that delusional to think we couldn’t lose the possible next two “6 pointers” as well but in really don’t think so, 3pts at the least, mostly likely 4, but another 6 sets us up right pretty, “don’t cha just know it?!?!”

Love You All



The GoatyGav Column

Quietly Going About Our Business

League Table Courtesy Of Google

The media are making a lot of noise about a few clubs at present. High flyers Southampton are deservedly taking much of the plaudits. The Spuds are starting to be spoken about in title chasing terms, with Ally McCoist and others answering the hypothetical that they will finish above City this season, while Aston Villa and Leeds are being praised for their efforts this season to date. Of course many channels have been at pains to point out that Leicester had, before yesterday’s defeat, been three points better off this season than at the same point in their title winning campaign of 2015-’16.

Meanwhile our perennial underachievers in Claret & Blue have been uncharacteristically consistent since the disappointing opener against Newcastle. Despite the fact that there have been one or two that have stood out slightly more than others the team ethic, that continues to grow on matchdays, has developed to the point where all eleven players on the pitch are performing well. So many aspects of their play seems more confident including their strength and conditioning which is enabling them to compete, control and dictate more of the game.

A few weeks back I replied to a post-match comment with words to the effect of ‘I don’t care if West Ham unbeaten runs rarely last long…I’m just enjoying the ride right now’. Let’s face it, we’re so used to false dawns, we might as well enjoy the purple patches without concern for what lies ahead. I’m genuinely glad to still be in the same place as when I made that ‘in the moment’ post. Without getting carried away, or dreaming of European football next season, long may that feeling continue. Quite frankly it’s great and I’m absolutely loving it.

At this point of the season, with a quarter of the games already played, our usual MO is to be looking downwards and worrying about a relegation scrap. It’s a really nice thing to be looking upwards and just six points off the top of the table. Apart from the nose bleed it’s particularly pleasant having a positive goal difference. In fact ours is the equal fourth highest in the Premier League alongside Liverpool’s!

Another reason to be cheerful this term is the lack of injuries we’ve suffered. Almost always near the top of that division by this stage, in fact at any stage come to think of it, there’s a strange absence of physio room occupants. The only major miss has been Antonio with his recurring hamstring problem. Thankfully, on this occasion, it’s not a six month lay off but one that’s seen him miss only three and a bit games. In fact, if he’d have been available for the Liverpool match, you wonder if the result might have been different…such has been the impact of the likeable former Tooting and Mitcham Talisman.

So despite David Moyes’ call for calm, and solid feet on the ground, this Hammer is only focused on the enjoyment of recent games and the satisfaction of seeing us in the top half of the table without thinking of where the rest of the season will take us. Long may it continue. Be that as it may, however, it has to be said that it could have been a worse time to be facing Aston Villa at home. Next Monday can’t come quick enough.

Sadly not quite so happy tidings with the Women’s team. The club announced, last Thursday, that Matt Beard has left the club by mutual consent following the defeat to Brighton. Beard will always have the cup final the season before last on his CV. Having attended the semi-final, and were it not for ridiculous fixture scheduling I would have been at the final as well, I can honestly say that it was one of the highest, most enjoyable, points I’ve had watching West Ham over the last couple of seasons so, if you’re happen to read this Matt, many thanks for great memories and all the best for your future in the game.

As I write the under twenty threes are taking on Dimitri Halajko’s former charges at the King Power stadium in what looks like a good start for our lads. With Burnley currently leading Palace, and Nick Pope pulling off a worldy of a save from Benteke, it looks like we might also hang on to our eighth spot for the time being. I’m going to chill out for the rest of the evening with a ‘Bolognese a la Gav’ and unwind so won’t be doing my usual brief report on the game this week.

Stay safe and well and have a good week all.


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