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Swansea v West Ham

Filed: Monday, 5th March 2018
By: Ten Thousand Miles From The Boleyn

-10 Minutes: With Andre Ayew in the team many West Ham fans will be worried that the infamous Curse of the Ex-Hammer will strike today; but it's a ridiculous superstition and hopefully none of the players buy into it. Of more concern is the fact we are playing outside the M25 on a Saturday afternoon with a stiff Easterly blowing; I haven't checked, but if the moon is waning gibbous that really does bode ill.

I live ten thousand miles from the Boleyn. So what do I know about anything?

Since their return to the Premier League we've had a pretty good record against today's opponents so I find it difficult to conjure up any real animosity towards Swansea. Even changing the name from Town to City made some sense if you want to be pedantic, but there is one thing that always springs to mind whenever they are mentioned...

That's right; sheep-shagging. Not a subject I've put a great deal of thought into but now would seem as good a time as any. But I don't want to be unfair to the club as my understanding is that the infamous Sheep Loving clause is no longer written into new players contracts, thus making the activity entirely optional.

6 Minutes: I would have liked to see Antonio get a start but we seem to be having a go.

I'm sure we all struggle to find an explanation for bestial behaviour; to get to one of my favourite fishing spots I occasionally have to negotiate my way through a flock of the woolly beasts and I can say with hand on heart I have never once felt the urge to drop my strides and sample La Mouton.

9 Minutes: It looked like my internet connection was playing up but no; Adrian really did get down that slowly.

Presumably the odds of getting caught in the act and successfully prosecuted are long, which may be the origin of the old expression "One may as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb..." Which sounds even more revolting but it does raise the question of whether there a line that is never crossed, is there an act that even the most brazen zoophile looks back on and wonders: "Was that a step too far..? Boyo?"

13 Minutes: I'm struggling to concentrate on the game as every time we get a close up of a Swansea player I find myself wondering "What about him... or him..?

All joking aside, I have no reason to believe any of the Swansea players or anyone in the whole of Wales indulges in Sheep-Shagging. Unlike New Zealand of course, where it's absolutely bloody rife.

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16 Minutes: That was too close. Adrian seems to be trying out a new goalkeeping technique where you only use your hands as a last resort. Great block by Rice.

20 Minutes: Winston Reid fell awkwardly and looks like he's in serious trouble, I now feel like a real shit for that comment about Kiwis. I can't believe it can get any worse.

But truthfully, we all know it can and probably will but I don't hold with the notion that this is a "Must Win" game. I know teams down the bottom can go on a run at the end of the season (we've done it ourselves in the past) but they can't all do it. I'm of the opinion that thirty seven points will probably be enough and with five home games left I think we will be safe.

32 Minutes: Terrible defending, that was poor.

Half Time: Gives us an opportunity to reflect on just how inept we were. Playing defensively and still letting in two weak goals is not on.

On a brighter note, it was a busy day down here in Tasmania with the State Election being held. Due to a combination of compulsory voting and a fiendishly complex counting system described as a "Single Transferable Vote method of proportional representation used in multi-member electorates", they don't have a result yet.

46 Minutes: Antonio is now on, a quick goal and we're back in it.

48 Minutes: A quick goal; and we truly are right in it.

All the talk earlier this evening was of a hung parliament, which I always believed occurred when no party gains a working majority and must make a deal with a minor party. Down here it refers to a convention that harks back to the early colonial days where any candidate who fails to gain 5% of the vote is strung up on the gallows that are permanently erected outside Parliament House... which sounds harsh but it does deter time wasters. My only objection is that surely they should be talking about a Hanged Parliament, although I confess I've so far kept this observation to myself as being a smart-arse is also a capital offence.

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55 Minutes: The commentator just mentioned Swansea will overtake us so I just looked at the table and based on the current scores and assuming Palace get their arses handed to them by the Mankers we will still be three points above the drop zone. Perhaps my confidence in our survival isn't as firm as Iíd thought.

62 Minutes: Kouyate has finally contributed to the match. 4-0 here we come.

Friends have asked me what Tasmania is like and my standard response has been "It's like England, but with fewer dickheads". They usually take this as a slight against the old country but it's not, the fact being that the entire state only has a population of half a million people and even if you take the standard estimate that 95% of the populace are dickheads I think my assessment probably still holds true.

76 Minutes: Antonio is on the deck and we are well past the point where absolutely nothing good can happen. Restore pride and dignity? No chance. Red card or another serious injury? Highly likely.

I have met three West Ham fans since I've lived down here which is nice. One was born in Basildon so that wasn't too much of a surprise but the other two are genuine Tassie locals. I'd often wondered how and why someone with no connection to the East End would end up supporting the Hammers so I have carried out some extensive research.

It turns out that one of the blokes fitted squarely into the second most likely reason: *Dropped on head as a baby, and the other fell into the top category: *Dropped on head as a baby multiple times. I'm not sure all that research was worth it as it does seem pretty obvious when you think about it.

81 Minutes: Nice goal by Antonio, I suppose one good thing is that he must be guaranteed a start next week, the same may go for Hart but not sure if that is good or not.

It's all over. I try to avoid getting too worked up over a defeat but this was feeble from start to finish and I am so annoyed I will struggle to get to sleep tonight. As a result I've just downloaded an app that plays the soothing sound of "Light rain falling against a window", because I just know that counting sheep is no longer an option.

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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