We’re worried at CFCnet. We’ve just picked up a copy of Ancelotti’s autobiography in the Megastore (no review copy for us, what do PR’s do for living?) and in the credits, alongside Ancelotti’s dedication there is another dedication by a certain A.A. Who might A.A. be? His wife Andrea Ancelotti perhaps? We don’t know but her dedication to ‘JT’ has got us worried. Surely not? He can’t have been there.
Eagle-eyed readers will no doubt email us saying that A.A. stands for Carlo’s ghost writer, Alessandro Alciato, but it certainly had us worried for a few minutes.
On a serious note, truly worrying was a rumour whispered in our ears from an insider at Upton Park. Reflecting on our comprehensive pulverising of the ‘Appy Hammers’, said insider said that she wasn’t too worried about West Ham’s worst ever start to a season. The woman concerned said, to paraphrase, “look, West Ham’s in a lot of debt, it would be better for all concerned if we got relegated this season.” Excuse me?
Said insider (and it’s not Ms Brady) continued, “people think relegation is the end of the world but it’s not. If West Ham go down we get a full year’s Premiership parachute payment yet the players wages are cut in half. We’ll still get a full ground. The bottom line is that we’ll clear £30 million profit if we go down and come back up the following year.” She finished by saying, “if we then sell Carlton Cole or one of better players in January you can add another £10 million.”
The bottom line is that if West Ham go down and come back up the following season, Sullivan and Gold can pay off a massive £40 million on their debt. Whilst the insider didn’t want to be named she hinted that if West Ham go down a few bottles of bubbly might be opened in certain areas of the East End. Allegedly.
Whilst we’ve got very little time for the East Londoners, we have to say that if West Ham’s strategy to clear their debts is relegation then all of football is in trouble, not just the Hammers.
As for Saturday’s game, there is always a team waiting to bring you back to earth. West Ham Utd are one of those teams. Whilst CFCnet considers Chelsea FC to have full spectrum dominance over the Hammers, the Upton Park outfit have been more than capable of giving us a bloody nose. CFCnet harks back to 1999 when an unexpected 1-0 home defeat in March of that year cost us the league.
Still, whilst the beauty of football is that victory is never guaranteed, after the second minute it was all over as a contest. When a tame Drogba free kick was spilled by Robert Green and ‘knocked’ in by Kalou 16 minutes later a few Chelsea fans were heard serenading Sondheim’s ‘Send in the Clowns’.
Like a heavyweight boxer relaxing for a few rounds solely to give the punters value, Chelsea toyed with West Ham for a further 65 minutes before delivering the knockout blow with yet another Essien header. Parker’s late consolation goal was merely an exercise in showing the West Ham faithful that the only players worth watching were either current or ex-Blues.
Whilst no game in the Premiership can be considered easy, we later watched the highlights perplexed as to how Avram Grant could have said, “we deserved more”. More what? We’d politely suggest more Chelsea goals, not least because we played in 2nd gear throughout the game and goodness knows what would have befallen the Hammers if Lampard had been playing just behind the rested Malouda. As far as we’re concerned they got off lighter than a sky bound helium balloon.