What was that famous old quote attributed to Harold Wilson? ‘A week is a long time in politics’ is a somewhat tired cliché bandied around a lot when a political crisis generally affects one party or another at some point.
The same phrase can oft be used in football and generally pertaining to a series of difficulties facing a club over a seven day period, usually meaning an unexpected defeat, knockout in cup, a sense of being wronged, a player in the papers for the wrong reasons, a whole multitude of factors could have a club feeling that ‘a week is a long time in football’
You’d have to say that it could have been applied to West Ham quite often this season and it looked like we were precariously on the brink of another testing period following Carroll’s sending off, so it’s been a magnificent run of results that has taken us out of the relegation zone with 10 points in 12 matches. So much has been the turnaround that the phrase can now be applied to describe the frustration of having an FA Cup week get in the way and leaving an 11 day gap between matches.
For us living in Dubai though, this FA Cup week gave a chance to meet the team as the Dubai Hammers Supporters Club were invited to attend the club’s training session by Alpari, who also have an office here. You may have seen the article in the Daily Mail last Friday and you may have seen the news about James Collins that turned out to be a spoof, thank goodness.
With regards to that story, I suppose, it wouldn’t be out of the bounds of possibility that he could have got sunburnt. From some of the photos from the training day, you can see Mark Noble has clearly caught the sun and that was only day two of their four day break so it could have happened. Thankfully it didn’t though.
What did happen though was a terrific afternoon where an upbeat squad, obviously buoyed by the recent change in fortunes, were enjoying training in the Dubai sun and were very accommodating to us lot who watched intently throughout and we were rewarded with players and manager mingling afterwards chatting, signing autographs and posing for photos.
Dubai Supporters Club were presented with a trophy of recognition by Alpari and by manager Sam Allardyce and Kevin Nolan for all the great work they do in promoting West Ham United in the city and in the United Arab Emirates as a whole. If ever you find yourself in Dubai, then make sure you head for a drink at the home of the Dubai Hammers, Nelson’s at the Media Rotana in the Tecom area.
You’ll be made to feel very welcome, indeed, especially if you are able to time your visit for when a Hammers match is being shown live (sadly not as frequently as before with the ongoing encryption dispute with the FA). For more info on the Club, feel free to visit their Facebook page. So it’s the third straight year the Hammers have headed to Dubai for warm weather training.
I don’t know it that is indicative of our rather poor FA Cup form in recent seasonings but it is clear the squad do enjoy taking the break in Dubai and were more than happy to give back by mingling with us after the training session.
Hopefully the team have returned to the UK refreshed and relaxed ahead of this weekend’s game and the renaissance of the last few weeks can continue. Given the way Southampton are playing it will be tough but we go into the match with every reason to feel confident.