Last on MOTD: From Harry Redknapp to Coleen Nolan

WEST Ham’s last two matches could hardly have contrasted more. One featured levels of violence so frightening that everyone from Harry Redknapp to Coleen Nolan expressed justified condemnation. The other was so boring that it sent a baby to sleep.

There’s little I can say about Tuesday night’s horrific scenes in and around Upton Park that hasn’t already been said. Redknapp, a man who knows the place better than most, made headlines far beyond the one above his column in the Sun when he suggested that West Ham and Millwall should never be allowed to play each other in a cup competition again – and that any future league matches between the two sides should be played behind closed doors.

Nolan’s opinion piece in the Mirror, while just as quick to condemn the hooligans, took a slightly more off-the-wall tone.

The article was undoubtedly written with the best of intentions (and she does admit to having little knowledge of football). Any article, though, which contains the sentence “but I do know a thing or two about men” is not going to raise the level of debate very high.

Reading it, I did wonder if she was going to claim that you can easily tell a football hooligan because he always leaves the loo seat up and never irons his own shirts. Mind you, it’s hard to argue with her description of those responsible for the trouble as “pathetic fat, balding, ugly idiots”.

But as Redknapp put it: “I can tell you exactly how many of those mindless morons responsible for the mayhem will be holding their heads in shame today – none.”

After such a horrible night, a trouble-free trip to Blackburn was probably just what West Ham needed. Not only was it trouble-free off the pitch, it was also pretty much incident-free on it – hence the sleeping baby.

Last night’s final match: Blackburn 0 West Ham 0
Commentator: Tony Gubba

“Well, everybody is riveted by the action,” chuckled Tony Gubba over the shot of said baby, wearing a pink romper suit and woolly hat, dreaming of being at a better game.

(I should make clear that it was the baby who was wearing the romper suit, not Gubba. I’ve no idea what Gubba was wearing. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if he too was dreaming of being at a better game. At least he can console himself with the knowledge that he has leapt to the top of the Gubbometer thanks to the ludicrously complicated methods I use to separate competitors who are level on points.)

The highlight of the first half was a 30-yard shot from Blackburn midfielder Steven N’Zonzi which seemed to go about 30 yards over the bar. “Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear,” said Gubba in a manner that would have made the Chuckle Brothers proud. “F**k,” N’Zonzi could clearly be seen mouthing as the camera zoomed in for a close-up.

As he turned his back, N’Zonzi served to confuse me further regarding the spelling of his name. Does it have an apostrophe or not? On the back of his shirt – and in the player profiles section of Blackburn’s official website – it doesn’t. But practically everywhere else (including this blog), it does. I’d hate to think that I’m putting in an apostrophe incorrectly, as I don’t like it when market stall traders and sign writers do it. I suppose I should be grateful his name isn’t Steven Potatoe’s.

Even so, N’Zonzi (or Nzonzi) isn’t the only Blackburn player who is likely to cause confusion this season. Their best chance fell in the second half to Canadian striker David Hoilett, who manager Sam Allardyce referred to throughout his post-match interview as Junior. (Or perhaps J’unior.) As far as I can tell, it’s Hoilett’s middle name. In any case, it’s certainly the one he prefers to be known by. It may take a few weeks before we all get it right, though.

Blackburn had a decent penalty claim near the end, when David Dunn (whose name is disappointingly straight-forward) had his trailing leg caught by Scott Parker. Allardyce grumbled a bit, but that was as controversial as it got. This was one West Ham game that Coleen Nolan will have taken no interest in whatsoever. And after Tuesday night, that’s something to be glad about.


1. Gubba: 1
(GD: 1. 2L: 1.)
2=. Blackburn: 1
(GD: 1. 2L: 0.)
2=. West Ham: 1
(GD: 1. 2L: 0.)
4. Wolves: 1
(GD: 0. 2L: 1.)
5=. Birmingham: 1
(GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
5=. Fulham: 1
(GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
5=. Portsmouth: 1
(GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
5=. Stoke: 1
(GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
5=. Wigan: 1
(GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
10=. Bolton: 0
(GD: 0. 2L: 2.)
10=. Hull: 0
(GD: 0. 2L: 2.)
10=. Sunderland: 0
(GD: 0. 2L: 2.)
13. Chelsea: 0
(GD: 0. 2L: 1.)
14=. Arsenal: 0
(GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
14=. Aston Villa: 0
(GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
14=. Burnley: 0
(GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
14=. Everton: 0
(GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
14=. Liverpool: 0
(GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
14=. Manchester City: 0
(GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
14=. Manchester United: 0
(GD: 0. 2L: 0.)
14=. Tottenham: 0
(GD: 0. 2L: 0.)

GD = Gubba difference
2L = On second last
(Last night’s penultimate match was: Wolves 1 Hull 1.) 

(NB. Teams will receive one point for every time they appear last on MOTD. Appearances on MOTD2 are not included. Teams level on points will be separated by Gubba difference – the number of times a team is on last with Tony Gubba commentating. Teams still level will then be separated by the number of times they appear second last on MOTD.)


3 Responses to Last on MOTD: From Harry Redknapp to Coleen Nolan

  1. DDS says:

    This is a tiny little slice of genius.

  2. Bad Andy says:

    I wonder if the scoring system can get any more complicated? Maybe factoring in how many times teams were eligible to be last (ie those who played on Saturday).

    Fulham have no chance of regaining their crown because their European adventures will see them playing on a Sunday for at least 8 games.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. mikewhalley says:

    Ah, the perils of qualifying for the Europa League! Strictly speaking, Fulham are the only team on the Gubbometer with a 100 per cent record this season (one appearance on MOTD, and they’ve been on last once), so you may have a point.

    There was a chap called Louis at who used to do an incredibly detailed analysis of the entire MOTD running order. It was very impressive, although it looked too much like hard work for me to attempt to imitate it!

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