Sunday, 1 March 2009

West Ham preview

I'm very excited about returning to the Boleyn Ground, the site of my best memory as a City fan - last season's 2-0 opening day victory. I don't need to fill you in on the details, but it was a revelation to those there. We went expecting nothing, we left expecting everything from Eriksson's City. It may ultimately have ended badly, but for those first few games the feeling of emerging from darkness into light was palpable. The Stuart Pearce years were, in a sense, more dis-heartening than even the relegations because of the feeling of stagnation around the club. But with our Thai billionaire autocrat and our failed England manager we at least had a shot at something new. After a season of DaMarcus Beasley, Bernardo Corradi, Stephen Jordan, Hatem Trabelsi and Paul Dickov, the privilege of seeing Elano, Martin Petrov, Bianchi and Ćorluka in blue was quite something. On a side note, the only players expected to start today who played in this fixture last year - Richards, Dunne and Ireland - were inherited by Sven rather than bought by him. Which tells us something important about Sparkyisation.

West Ham 0 - 2 Man City was also the last time we won a league game in a change strip. The Change Kit Curse has been with us ever since. Whether or not we'll rid ourselves of it today, I'm not sure. West Ham have been better than us thus far this season, but part of me is wondering whether we're going to peak at just the right time. If we play like we did at Anfield - I imagine we'll use the same players and formation - I think we could come away with a score draw.

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