The HamburgHammer Column

A housewarming for the ages - but the homeowner didn't enjoy it

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YEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! Indeed, it’s happened again! We were all having another party on Saturday when Tottenham f***ed it up.
Are we becoming a bit of a bogey side for Spurs ?

No matter what you may think about our season as a whole, winning away at Spurs always adds a bit of spice to proceedings.

But this one was even a little bit more special. We scored the first goal that Spurs ever conceded in the young history of their shiny new stadium. Coupled with the fact we managed to keep a clean sheet as well we also presented Tottenham with their first ever defeat in that shiny new stadium.

I’m sure t-shirts spelling out that fact will be available in the West Ham club shop fairly soon. And coffee mugs. And framed pictures of Antonio’s weird but wonderful goal celebration.

That was some house-warming party over there in North London, but not one the homeowners/hosts will have been too happy about. Traditionally, in the olden days before central heating, guests for housewarmings used to flock to a dwelling that had just been built or moved into by a family and bring with them some firewood as a gift and thus help making a fire in every available fire place within that house to get it all nice, warm and comfy in there, hence the term housewarming.

In plenty of European countries, including my own, guests also brought as gifts bread and salt, representing good fortune for the lodgers or homeowners and also the hope they’d always have food on their table in their new home.

Well, there was certainly salt involved in our derby win, in the form of tears for the home supporters. Yes, Spurs had a few injured players, but so did we. Did they maybe hold back in their performance, with one eye already on their CL game tomorrow ? Maybe.

But as an opposition team you can only put a shift in when the first whistle goes, work your socks off and hope for the best in order to beat what’s in front of you.

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And that’s just what West Ham did. I cannot single out just one player for West Ham here as it was pretty much a complete performance from everyone. Diop got MotM and indeed he had a glorious game. Personally I was incredibly impressed with Noble, Fredericks, Balbuena, Antonio and the second-half version of Arnautovic.

It was always going to take a complete performance like this, a big team mentality and effort galore in order to even earn a point away at Tottenham, nevermind all three! But make no mistake, this wasn’t simply a case of Spurs having a bad day at the office, and if it was, then the main reason for it was our players being in the same office with them at the same time, being a constant nuisance, dropping all their paperclips on the floor, hiding their staplers, breaking their photocopier and shutting down their phone lines and computers.

To let you into a slightly spooky secret: Aside from the notorious matchday screwdriver, there is another routine of mine when we play. I have an old West Ham poster calendar gracing my living-room wall (I won’t throw it away as long as some players pictured in there still play for us), it’s so old it has pictures of Zaza, Ayew, Payet and James Collins in it. Before every game I change the calendar to show a picture of a player who is in the starting line-up for us and who is also in a good run of form. Or who I have high hopes for doing something special for us on the pitch in the upcoming game.

In recent weeks it always was Ogbonna, but he didn’t start against Spurs, so guess who I happened to choose to replace him on my wall for the derby on Saturday ?

Yep. No other than Antonio, the first player scoring an away goal at the New White Hart Lane (or whatever it’s called now). But don’t ask me now about the lottery numbers for next week. Or horses, I know sweet FA about those! :-))

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I’m sure you’ll all agree that we’d love to see the same kind of effort and determination from our lads in every single game instead of just a few big day occasions like derby games against Spurs.

This was always going to be a transitional season. It’s rare for a new management team to come into a club and hit the ground running. It’d be nice though if we could finish the season on a high note, ending up in the Top 10 of the table as this would also improve our chances to keep players at West Ham and also convince prospective targets to join us in the summer.

No doubt there will be a significant number of players leaving and joining the club, but as long as we end up with a better team overall at the start of next season compared to the end of this season, I won’t be complaining. As for the win against Spurs I have to praise the entire team and Pellegrini as well, he got the tactics spot on and it’s no mean feat to keep a clean sheet against Spurs at their place, regardless of Kane playing or not.

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On a quick personal note, plse keep your fingers crossed for my brother later today, around noon. He’ll be under the knife at his local hospital (again) as they found something on his adrenal gland during a recent scan that doesn’t belong there.

They are not sure what it is and after his recent bout against cancer they are not prepared to take any chances. They will cut out whatever it may be and then they will know (or find out quickly) what it actually is. Indications are that it is not related to his previous cancer. It’s also unlikely it is a new form of cancer as they didn’t spot any blood vessels on the scans and cancer cells apparently tend to have blood vessels around that area. So hopefully it’ll be something benign or just some internal bruising due to him falling on the stairs at his house recently, hitting the floor hard.

So forgive me if our win against Spurs hasn’t put me in a complete state of unfettered joy and happiness…

Plse also keep in mind that our U23s are playing tonight. They have to beat table toppers Everton if they want to have any chance of staying up (and sending Spurs U23s down in the process). A double over Spurs within a matter of days ? Sounds pretty great to my ears…COYI!!!

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Hamburg football update:

St.Pauli came from behind to beat Regensburg at home, the win keeping alive their mathematical chances to get 3rd place which would give them a two-leg playoff promotion final against the 16th placed team from Bundesliga 1.
Hamburg SV are officially in crisis mode, losing 0:2 at Union Berlin.
For the first time in ages they now find themselves in unfamiliar territory, just outside the promotion places. This will go to the wire.

Concordia’s first team, meanwhile, already seem to be on a beach in Spain or Thailand already, losing 0:4 at Barmbek on Friday evening. It has been a shocker of a season for them and they can only be grateful there are some really crap teams in the same division this season. That alone will save them from relegation this year.
The U23s won in a fierce and dramatic contest, 2:1 away at Wentorf (three red cards in total, most of them for verbal dissent) to keep their slim promotion hopes alive.

The Cordi Women’s team virtually secured their promotion with a 26:0 defeat against nine (!!!) very brave opponents from Bramfeld. Instead of not even showing up, the away side tried their best, but as a team, quality-wise, they never stood a chance against Concordia, even if it had been 11 against 11.
Cordi needed to score plenty to make up an inferior goal difference to keep their promotion rivals at bay. With one game to go they are three points ahead, and also have superior goal difference now (by 9 goals), so promotion is almost in the bag. Nearly there…


David Hautzig's Match Report

Tottenham 0, West Ham 1. Early Bird Special.

Because of where I am from, the many traditions associated with English football don’t mean as much to me as those of you who grew up with it. Saturday 3pm kickoffs, for example, don’t hold any weight for me. But today I would have given up a lot for it. I was shockingly jet lagged from my return on Thursday, and my eyes opened minutes before the start of the match. With one point from our previous matches away from home, sleep might have been the better choice. Not today it turned out.

West Ham started brightly, with Anderson making a good run down the left before the ball eventually made its way to Rice near the top of the Spurs eighteen yard box. His shot was quick but over the bar. The Hammers continued to press, playing the type of football we have rarely seen in the opening moments of a match.

Fabianski will be Hammer Of The Year. Of that I have no doubt. He has made more saves than any keeper in the league. Which is awful news. We clearly still have issues at the back, and if it weren’t for our new keepers heroics we would be a typical West Ham team with a goal differential of -87 or something. The 11th minute gave us yet another example of why the Polish international has been so important when Son was sent in by Alli with a terrific through ball, but Fabianski was up to the task. Minutes later Diop blocked what would have been a dangerous shot from Alli in the box.

Marko Arnautovic has clearly not been himself since January when the China affair dominated Hammer fans everywhere. But some have argued, Nigel Kahn included, that Marko has not gotten any service. That argument was indisputable in the 19th minute when Anderson broke down the left. Had he been a botanist the run would have been impressive because he stared at nothing but the grass the whole time. Had he looked up, he would have seen Arnautovic all alone at the penalty spot. Instead he rolled a useless low shot right at Lloris. Marko was livid, and rightly so.

As the first half progressed, the tone became clear. Spurs would press, West Ham would hold on and hope for a chance to hit them on the break. Strategically it made sense. Practically it was nerve wracking.

Fabianski was again called to the rescue in the 36th minute when a deflected clearance off the foot of Antonio came back to Eriksen right in front of the West Ham keeper. Masuaku had assumed the ball was on its way down the pitch and thus played the Spurs straggler onside. Fabianski went down and smothered the shot.

The first half could have ended on a high note for West Ham when Anderson let loose with a hard shot from 25 yards out. It took a deflection off the derrière of Davies and Lloris had to adjust. Maybe if it had hit the other cheek it would have gone in. We will never know.

Halftime
Tottenham 0
West Ham 0

The Hammers started the second half well, winning two corners in quick succession after good balls into Arnautovic. Unfortunately neither delivery did much to trouble the home side, but it was a good sign to start the second forty five in their half. Minutes later, Arnautovic showed great skill in harnessing a long ball from Fabianski and then getting off a low shot that Lloris handled rather easily. But it showed that if he can get his Austrian head screwed back on straight he might get back to where we know he can be.

Spurs were awarded a free kick from 25 yards out in the 59th minute, and with Eriksen stepping over the ball it was not inappropriate for West Ham hearts to pause. The wall did its job, and West Ham were able to break. Antonio did what he always does, ran like a freight train with no breaks. The ball went to Anderson, pretty much by chance, but his shot was deflected out for a corner. Spurs cleared the set piece, but with half an hour left we were still in it.

A lot was made before the match that Spurs had not conceded a single goal at their new stadium. West Ham made that fact a piece of history when Rice fed Arnautovic on the right side. Antonio began a run into the box, and Marko looped a pass over the Spurs defense to Antonio in the box. Antonio did very well to chest the ball down and set himself for a hard shot that flew last Lloris and into the back of the net.

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Tottenham 0
West Ham 1

Spurs had a great chance to level the score in the 73rd minute when Alli sent a through ball into the box that Davies ran onto, but Fredericks made an excellent tackle to break up the run and allow Fabianski to smother the ball.

After a decent spell on the ball, West Ham gave themselves a chance to double their lead when Arnautovic tried a curling shot from the left side of the Spurs eighteen yard box. Lloris had to dive to his left to make the stop. Moments later a long diagonal ball from Diop found Antonio on the run. He used his speed to break in alone on Lloris and force the save.

When Diop began his run in the 86th minute, you kept waiting for him to pass. He didn’t. His shot came off the side of his foot and dribbled towards Lloris. He could have let it roll wide, but he made sure and pushed it out for a corner. Masuaku had his own break on the left but his ball into the center of the box found nobody in Claret & Blue.

Antonio had yet another chance to put the game away in the 89th minute when he drove in on goal, but one too many touches gave Sanchez the chance to catch him and clear the ball from danger.

Spurs pressed for an equalizer, and in the 94th minute it looked like they had it. And you know, in other years it would have happened. But for reasons I almost cannot fathom, Balbuena was there to clear that shot off the line.

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Final Score
Tottenham 0
West Ham 1

At the end of the match, so many questions went through my mind. Would The Avengers use time travel to defeat Thanos? And if they did, would everyone come back? Will Captain Marvel be a good member of the team? Will she date Thor? Oh. Yeah. I’m on my way to see Endgame now. West Ham’s Endgame is yet to be deciphered.

But today was awesome just the same.


Match Thread

Match Thread: Spurs v West Ham

Spurs v West Ham
FA Premier League
White Hart Lane
KO 12.30pm
TV: Sky Sports
Radio: BBC 5 Live

Please use this thread to comment on the match as it progresses.


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: Tottenham v West Ham

Blast from the past

Today’s focus sees us travel back nearly 36 years, to the 3rd September 1983 – UB40 were number one with ‘Red Red Wine’, Blue Thunder topped the UK box office and, two days later, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe made its debut on British television. Meanwhile, West Ham United secured a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in front of 38,042 at White Hart Lane.

The Hammers went into this match with a 100% record from their opening two matches of 1983/84 having beaten Birmingham 4-0 on the opening day at the Boleyn Ground before winning 1-0 at Everton. Top of the fledgling First Division table, the Irons made it three wins from three games with Steve Whitton opening the scoring, flashing in a shot on the turn after Alvin Martin had nodded down an Alan Devonshire corner from the left. It was Whitton’s first goal for the club after joining from Coventry – he would score eight goals in 46 appearances for the club before moving to Birmingham in 1986.

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27-year-old centre-forward Dave Swindlehurst (pictured above) bagged the second after a flowing move involving Geoff Pike and Ray Stewart ended in Tony Cottee holding off Gary Stevens before digging out a cross which Swindlehurst fired home low beyond Ray Clemence. Both left-backs on display in this game represented both clubs in their careers – 24-year-old Chris Hughton went on to play for West Ham, while 25-year-old Steve Walford had started his career at Tottenham. The goals from this game can be viewed in my video below.

The Hammers remained top of the league until mid-October, winning six of their opening eight matches. The Irons held a top four place until the end of March 1984 but only one win from the final 12 games resulted in a ninth-placed finish. Tottenham finished one place and one point above the Hammers in eighth position and also won the UEFA Cup. Cottee would end the season as the club’s top scorer with 19 goals from 47 appearances and was voted runner-up to Trevor Brooking as Hammer of the Year. Liverpool won the league and Everton won the FA Cup.

Tottenham Hotspur: Ray Clemence, Danny Thomas, Graham Roberts, Gary Stevens, Chris Hughton, Glenn Hoddle (Paul Miller), Gary Mabbutt, Steve Perryman, Tony Galvin, Garth Crooks, Mark Falco.

West Ham United: Phil Parkes, Ray Stewart, Alvin Martin, Billy Bonds, Steve Walford, Steve Whitton, Geoff Pike, Trevor Brooking, Alan Devonshire, Tony Cottee, Dave Swindlehurst.

Club Connections

A large group of players have turned out for Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. Divided here by position, they include:

Goalkeepers: Bill Kaine, Charlie Ambler, Tony Parks, Fred Griffiths.

Defenders: Calum Davenport, Paul Konchesky, Mark Bowen, Mauricio Tarrico, Steve Walford, Chris Hughton, Percy Mapley, Fred Milnes, Mitchell Thomas, Neil Ruddock.

Midfielders: Paul Allen, Scott Parker, Michael Carrick, Jimmy Neighbour, Matthew Etherington, Ilie Dumitrescu, Mark Robson, David Bentley, Charlie Whitchurch, Chris Carrick, Martin Peters, John Smith, John Moncur.

Strikers: Mido, Frederic Kanoute, Almer Hall, Bobby Zamora, Peter Kyle, Sergei Rebrov, Kenny McKay, George Foreman, Dave Dunmore, Teddy Sheringham, Les Bennett, Jermain Defoe, Bill Joyce, Robbie Keane, Fred Massey, Jimmy Reid, Clive Allen, Les Ferdinand, Jimmy Greaves, Harry Bradshaw.

Jack Tresadern played for West Ham and managed Tottenham, while Trevor Hartley also played for the Hammers and managed Spurs on a caretaker basis. Alan Pardew played for Tottenham and managed the Hammers, while Harry Redknapp played for the Hammers and managed both clubs.

Today’s focus is on a current Hammer who started his career at Tottenham Hotspur. Ryan Fredericks was born in Hammersmith on 10th October 1992. He came through Tottenham’s Academy and was named on the bench for the senior side’s 3-1 FA Cup fourth round replay victory over Leeds at Elland Road in February 2010. Injury would keep him out for almost a year but he would make a senior debut for Tottenham under Harry Redknapp in their goalless draw with Hearts in the UEFA Europa League Play-Offs in August 2011, before featuring twice in the Group Stage. He played nine minutes of a 0-0 draw at PAOK Salonika and the full match away to Rubin Kazan which ended in a 1-0 defeat. Fredericks also made one appearance for England Under-19s but found his path blocked by Nathaniel Clyne and Andre Wisdom at Under-21 level. He is eligible to represent Guyana.

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Andre Villas-Boas did not give Fredericks any game time in 2012/13, opting to loan him to Brentford instead. Fredericks turned 20 while with the League One side and made his Football League debut for the Griffin Park club, playing three minutes of a goalless draw at Bury in August 2012. Fredericks was finally handed a start back at Tottenham by Villas-Boas in a Europa League Group Stage match against Anzhi Makhachkala in December 2013, but it would prove to be the Portuguese manager’s penultimate match in charge of Spurs and Fredericks’ fourth and final appearance for the club – he won a penalty in the 4-1 victory at White Hart Lane. Tim Sherwood loaned Fredericks to Millwall and the right-back scored his first senior goal on his debut for the Lions in a 1-0 win over Ipswich at The Den.

New Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino sent Fredericks on a season-long loan to Middlesbrough for the 2014/15 campaign. Pochettino allowed Fredericks to leave the club permanently in the summer of 2015, with the 22-year-old signing for Steve Cotterill’s Bristol City. He made five appearances for his new club before requesting a move for personal reasons. He returned to London just 26 days after signing for Bristol City, joining fellow Championship side Fulham – he made 114 goalless appearances for Fulham, registering 15 assists and 29 yellow cards.

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Fredericks signed for Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham on a free transfer in June of last year. He made his Hammers debut in a 4-0 defeat at Liverpool on 12th August 2018. Now 26, he has made 15 appearances to date for West Ham, scoring one goal in the 8-0 League Cup third round win over Macclesfield on 26th September 2018. He has been booked five times, collecting a yellow card every three games on average.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Anthony Taylor – his most recent Irons appointment was for our 4-2 FA Cup fourth round defeat at Wimbledon in January. He also refereed our 3-2 home win over Crystal Palace in December and our 4-0 opening-day defeat at Liverpool. The Hammers were only allocated the 40-year-old once last season, for our 1-0 home win over Chelsea in December 2017. In 2016/17, Taylor took charge of our 2-0 defeat at Everton in October 2016 and our 2-1 opening-day defeat at Chelsea in August 2016, awarding the home side a penalty and later controversially failing to issue a second yellow card to Diego Costa for an awful lunge at Adrian – Costa remained on the pitch to score the 89th-minute winner. He also refereed our 1-0 defeat at Leicester on New Year’s Eve 2016 and our 1-0 win over Tottenham in May 2017. Taylor officiated the Irons on five occasions in 2015/16 as he took charge of our 4-1 defeat at Tottenham, as well as our home win over Newcastle which came just three games after he had controversially sent off Adrian against Leicester. He was also the man in the middle for our FA Cup third round win over Wolves and our 3-2 win at Everton in March 2016.

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Controversy and incident are never far away when the Cheshire-based official is the referee for a West Ham United match. Taylor was in charge when the Hammers took on Liverpool at Upton Park in April 2014, awarding a controversial and ultimately match-winning penalty to the Reds. There was also controversy surrounding Guy Demel’s equaliser for West Ham in that game. Taylor is also the referee who had not one, but two red cards rescinded from the same game after he had sent off Carlton Cole and Darron Gibson in the Hammers’ 2-1 home defeat to Everton in December 2012. He sent off the home side’s Kevin Mirallas against the Hammers at Goodison Park in March 2016 and awarded the Toffees a penalty which Romelu Lukaku saw saved by Adrian.

Possible line-ups

West Ham are bidding to become the first side to score and claim points at Tottenham’s new stadium. Serge Aurier, Moussa Sissoko, Erik Lamela and Harry Kane are out for the hosts while Harry Winks is a major doubt.

West Ham United will be without Winston Reid, Andriy Yarmolenko and Andy Carroll while Aaron Cresswell, Manuel Lanzini and Samir Nasri are doubts. Carlos Sanchez could make the bench and Chicharito could be available. There is, as yet, no news regarding Robert Snodgrass’ pending suspension. Pedro Obiang and Lucas Perez could earn starts after impressing from the bench last weekend. The Hammers have won only once in their last 16 Premier League games away to Tottenham, drawing six and losing nine.

Possible Tottenham Hotspur XI: Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Wanyama, Alli, Eriksen; Lucas Moura, Llorente, Son.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Masuaku; Rice, Noble, Obiang; Antonio, Perez, Anderson.

Enjoy the game – Up The Hammers!


Nigel Kahn’s Column

Shame on us all.

Just when you think you know what you’re going to write for your weekly column, something comes up unexpectedly and makes you rip that up and start again.
I had no plans to cover this again, so soon but after reading the Paul Walker article on KUMB on WHUISA & the OSB meetings taking place Saturday and then some of the inaccuracies being put out there as if they are the fact I feel I’m left with no choice.

I get nothing here for lying so what I’m putting down here is how things panned out from mine, & Sean’s point of view in regards our membership of the WHUISA committee last year.

Firstly, at the moment this is difficult to prove as the 2018 committee election results were never publicly published. I was told after the election that I had polled more votes than any other candidate, second was Sean & together our votes were more than the other members received combined.

Now to me, that is a huge mandate from WHUISA members and the direction it should take, as both Sean or I could not be classed as Lefties as WHUISA had been (unfairly in my view) tainted.

WHUISA committee generally communicates via Whatsapp groups or email and it didn’t take long for Sean & I to notice that things were happening that we didn’t seem to know about in advance. We believed, and rightly so, we were being excluded from decisions by a section of the committee who didn’t trust SW and by association, me, from being part of the decision making process. Some love to point out that WHUISA is the only democratically elected fan group out there, yet here we are being actively excluded, the two people who got more votes in that democratic election. Time & time again we found out what WHUISA was doing via the KUMB forum not via the official committee channels.

Allied to that, WHUISA was asked about joining the OSB as a group, a very short email exchange happened where the decision was taken by some on the committee to reject joining the clubs board.

Now I admit I thought WHUISA should have joined, after all, when you’re a fan representative group if don’t talk to those with the real power you’re just wasting your time. Yet I also believed that should have been a members decision, not the committees to make.

I get that committees are elected to run the show but some things are so important, especially this issue being the biggest WHUISA had to make, it should have gone to the members to decide.

The press statement that WHUISA then put out, stunned me for its rudeness. I’m no board lover, but, again, if you are a fan representative organization trying to make fans’ lives better, you have to hold your nose, & tongue at times, and step inside their tent. Standing outside waving a placard or a flag may give you satisfaction, but really, what does it achieve?

Add to that that the first time I read the statement was after it was released officially, it hadn’t been circulated in advance and only highlighted the fact some in the committee didn’t want any input from two of the elected committee members

Both Sean & I spoke about resigning as it was obvious what was going on. Sean resigned first & with WHUISA in a panic I was spoken to by a let us say, more sympathetic member of the committee who asked me not go, to stick with them and help make the changes for the better. I thought about it and agreed to not go, to see if Sean’s resignation would help. A small aside to this, half an hour after Sean resigned it was announced on the WHUISA twitter feed, and an article appeared on KUMB.

Over half of the elected committee from 2018 has resigned, Sean, Mark Sandell, George Mann, me & Sue Watson. Paul Turner who was co-opted onto the committee but not announced has since, I’m told, resigned as well. Only one resignation was announced the same day.

The truth about Mark Sandall leaving has never been explained. He just basically disappeared off the scene. He’s a busy man, but no explanation from him that I saw or anyone else. It wasn’t announced straight away. One rule for one it seems but not for the rest.

The Foodbank campaign was a mistaken – ot one I supported, as it is for individual fans to make that contribution, not an official group. It played into the hands of those that saw WHUISA as a playground of the left wing. It did go to members to vote, but only at a public meeting attended by around 25 fans. Considering WHUISA membership is worldwide, and it has invested in survey technology to ask fans easily questions to be debated, to allow just a vote of less than 1% make policy was wrong. At the meeting I spoke out against the foodbank campaign as best I could but the vote was carried.

The final straw for me was walking into a game just before kick off the chairman, who was not at this game, wanted to discuss something with the group before going public with it. I can’t remember what it was but, it was rare for him not to be at the game, by the end of the game on WHUISA’s twitter feed a statement was put out. Done & dusted by the chairman during the game, while the rest of us were watching the game. How can you make policy during a game and then announce it without allowing the committee to comment?

Enough was enough. I walked out then and there.

All of the above embarrasses WHUISA,. It also does me no credit, to be honest, and frankly, it is shameful in that fans trusted people to do the right thing but sadly like the ownership the fan group has failed the fans.

WHUISA though can be changed, as with elections if the right people can be found then with a new broom it can all be swept away and cleaned up.

I believe wholeheartedly in the concept of WHUISA and why it was set up, just somewhere along the way it floundered & frankly, played into the hands of those that unfairly tainted it.

My hope for the future is that WHUISA can with a new committee remember that’s its there to represent fans in trying to make their matchday better, yes to call the club to book when it is wrong but to do it in a way that means they work with you to change not against you.

Hammers United should also be a port of call, sit down with them to find common ground as when the fanbase is UNITED then and only then can proper meaningful change happen.


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