Ok, big Andy Carroll’s long awaited start in front of the Upton Park faithful.

Also the “first game” of the season, for “Captain Kev,” which to be honest, is a personal thought because I love him or loathe him, and there is a big divide in the Chicken Run.

I’m of the opinion that, if you take Carroll out of our starting line up, then you may as well exclude Nolan also. So I would put the argument forward to the FA that this unjust red card will rob us of not just one important player, but indeed two.

And that, is after two attempts to get the appeal verdict correct. Surely, after Howard Webb’s initial cock up on Saturday, and then the FA regulatory committee’s on Tuesday, It was served up on a silver platter for you! “Listen to the country” maybe, “We need to get this right” maybe.

“NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, you’ve owned this game for over a century. How can you be wrong”?

When Carroll and Nolan both start, as we all saw on Saturday, Nolan is a top quality finisher, feeding off of the Premier League’s best in the air centre forward. Carroll murdered ”Cheato Flores”. We could all see that, couldn’t we?

Then why couldn’t the Premier League’s “Marquee Referee”, Howard Webb?

Back in the late ‘90s, I witnessed John Hartson absolutely murder Des Walker of Sheffield Wednesday – a regular England centre-half – and it was documented at the time, that the referee went to see Harry Redknapp at half-time to calm Hartson down! Saturday was the same, wasn’t it? Did Howard Webb not notice the fear in the Swansea defence? Every time the ball entered their half, anything over two metres high led to a white flag being raised to match their white shirts.

I did. And obviously 32,000 others did and that is including the visiting choir from the Welsh valleys. If you check out their fan forums, fanzines etc, you will see that the Swansea fans are more distraught than we are. These are proud people who do not want blatant cheats, parading in their treasured colours. Fair play to decent fans.

So, where does all of that leave us? We go to Villa Park on Saturday without our talisman centre forward, thanks to a second rate Spanish centre half who incidentally has had the bare faced cheek to call our  football “UGLY.”

Well spotted Flores, but what a thing of beauty it was to see an absolute gentleman like yourself rolling about on our hallowed turf, poisoning the game that England taught you to play because, “YOU HAD YOUR PONY TAIL RUFFLED”?

Or  because you are not good enough to play against Andy Carroll.Maybe, just maybe, you’ve ruined any chance you ever had, of getting a full cap for your country. Because I’m quite sure you might end up having to mark Andy Carroll, and Del Bosque wouldn’t like the odds, understandably.

In this World Cup year, Howard Webb wasn’t man enough to put his hands up! The FA couldn’t be seen to go against the “headboy”, and “Cheato Flores” may have found a way to put his name in Premier League history books. I suppose we all need to be remembered for something. West Ham have another 14 Premier League games until the end of the current season. How many of those is Howard Webb going to officiate at? Two, three, possibly four?

Believe me, Howard and Cheato, West Ham fans have memories like Elephants. I was at Wembley in 1981 when the late great John Lyall accused the top referee of the era, Clive Thomas, of being a “F*****G CHEAT!” This after Liverpool’s Sammy Lee had ducked his head whilst in an offside position, enabling Alan Kennedy’s goal bound shot to hit the back of our net rather than improve his looks (impossible, I know).

Come back Sammy Lee, all is forgiven. You weren’t such a cheat after all.

I was also at Villa Park for the 1991 FA Cup semi final, when our esteemed ex-top referee, Keith Hackett, inexplicably dismissed Tony Gayle for a totally innocuous challenge after 20 minutes, resulting in a 4-0 defeat that still leaves Sky pundit Tony very bitter at the mention of the name “HACKETT”. Hackett, strangely enough, never officiated at another match that involved West Ham.

As could all football fans, I could go on forever. Searching for events and comparisons of such instances where our beloved clubs have been hard done by by referees, by former players, and former owners.

But please believe me, both of you; West Ham fans forget nothing.

Just ask Clive Thomas 1981, Paul Ince 1989, Keith Hackett 1991, Frank Lampard Jr 2001, and Jermain Defoe 2004.

“CHEATO FLORES”, Howard Webb 2014?

Hasta la Vista.

A view from the East.

Kevin Paul