Effra may be glad to see West Ham win, but goalscorer and West Ham villain Nigel Reo-Coker is still a loser.
The last time West Ham beat Manchester United at Upton Park Alex Ferguson laughably described West Hamâ€™s efforts as â€˜obsceneâ€™. I canâ€™t help wondering if something of the same thought didnâ€™t more reasonably go through Alan Pardewâ€™s mind yesterday afternoon, despite his bitterness-free pre-match interview showing the class of the man.
Easy to say that this win was oh so West Ham. Since this season they had already graced Upton Park with a victory against Arsenal whilst half-heartedly succumbing to Reading and Newcastle, why not follow losing three games in a row without scoring with inflicting Man Unitedâ€™s first away defeat of the season?
But the manner of this victory wasnâ€™t just West Ham being predictably unpredictable. Minus the sulky Tevez, who must be crazy to believe that heâ€™s going to get more games under Curbs than he did under the man he betrayed to the morningâ€™s newspapers, it was a familiar set of players who picked up all three points. The same players who, just last week, were costing Pardew his job with their lacklustre efforts were now bursting with passion, confidence, and energy.
Strange how passes suddenly started going where they were intended because someone ran for them, how the wide players remembered that they need to track back, and how in scoring Reo-Coker got himself 10 yards further than he has at any other moment in the entire season. Reo-Coker tells us that the goal was for Pardew, just as he had the Sunday Times tell us in the morning that the stories of him celebrating Pardewâ€™s demise at the playersâ€™ Christmas party were outrageous lies. Given what weâ€™ve seen with our own eyes, Nigel, what we want to know is whether you care enough to impress Curbishley when neither Messrs Wenger nor Ferguson are watching, or whether you think you and your mates are bigger than our new manager too.
Turn it on again at Craven Cottage next week, and perhaps even Pardew might half-believe your protestations.