Guest Post

Grown Men Behaving Like Spoilt Children

Guest Post by Anonymous

Went yesterday, sat in my usual seat just behind the subs bench in front of the directors/board seating. Witnessed things that frankly are embarrassing.

Today, I was reminded why I stopped going to the game in the 1980’s when the ICF were kicking rival supporters heads in. I was told last week by another supporter I know that some ex members of the ICF were involved in organising the protests. Trouble today was frankly planned.

I think it is important to get a message across that there are many supporters whilst unhappy with performances on the pitch are sick to death of the numbskulls that are there with the loudest voices hurling abuse at the players and coaches. Which I found really abhorrent and stupid.

There is a silent majority. I am one of them, I had to walk out today or risk my gob opening and telling the morons what I think of their behavior. Others felt the same way. The guy next to me tried to justify the protests telling me he had spent 30k on a 3 year season ticket. Err no he hadn’t, it was 2 years at 4k so 8k. He then tried to lecture me on being a supporter, until I pointed out that I had followed the club for 52 years and my late grandfather was at the 1923 cup final.

I sit right behind the players and for 2 seasons have witness the snarling abuse that has killed the players confidence. I watched Andy Carroll and other players pointing out all the fights between West Ham supporters in the stadium at the Chelsea game. I watched two supporters fighting each other literally 3 metres from me, their ages around 50 complete with kid in tow at the Crystal Palace game. I have watched the poor stewards today who are lucky if they earn £8.50 an hour be assaulted and abused and then me suffer the irony of being lectured on the ‘fucking rich Tory supporting owners’ from someone prepared to pay 4 k a year for a seat. I voted Labour last election, I rather suspect this guy didn’t.

The worst offenders are our age Iain. I feel like West Ham is a mirror image of Brexit. Those happy with the move and those unhappy.

Had West Ham been in the top four in the Premier league there would be no marches, there would be no pitch invasion, there would be no fighting amongst themselves, there would be no protest and there would be no chanting of ‘Sack the Board! Sack the Board! Sack the Board!’.

This is grown men behaving like spoilt children who cannot accept change and something different when it is not going their way.

On a more comical note, I took a friend of mine who is a film maker/photographer and a Man City fan who reckons it was one of the most entertaining days of his life… he filmed most of it and felt sure Russell Brand was one of the pitch invaders!

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Talking Point

The Players May not be Performing But That's No Excuse for Fans to Act Like Idiots or Thugs

When I woke up this morning I must have had a premonition. Having been looking forward to this game all week, I just couldn’t summon up the enthusiasm to go. Perhaps it’s just that I’m knackered after a very long week, but I didn’t even get out of bed to do the Tunbridge Wells park run either.

So I can’t write a match report because I wasn’t there, and judging by what I have heard, I’m glad I wasn’t. David Hautzig was there, but isn’t in a position to write a match report.

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I listened to the BBC London commentary for most of the first half and from what they said we were unlucky to go into half time without a goal. Both Lanzini and Mario might have scored had luck been on their side. Again, I must have ad a premonition because instead of listening to the second half commentary I decided to watch an episode of OUTLANDER (highly recommended!). It was only when my phone kept pinging with messages from my Arsenal supporting friend Matt that I realised things were going very awry. I knew we were 2-0 down, but what I hadn’t reckoned with is some of our idiot fans disgracing themselves. Again.

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I have attended fewer home matches this season than any other of the 25 seasons I have had a season ticket. I have two season tickets but it’s rare that I can persuade anyone to come with me. It’s not that I smell, or my friends don’t want to watch West Ham, they’re put off by what they’ve heard about the ‘incidents’ in the crowd. And who can blame them after what happened today. It’s embarrassing. At the last game I attended – and remember, I sit in the 1966 seats – there was an actual fight ten rows above me. West Ham fans, fighting each other.

I’m told a fan ran on and stole one of the corner flags. Others ran onto the pitch. One “fan” even confronted Mark Noble.I imagine there were no doubt a few fights too. Em-barassing, with a capital E.

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What do these knuckleheads think they’re achieving apart from dragging our reputation through the mud yet again.

They can blame the sodding board or Karren Brady all they like, but in the end there are 11 players on the pitch, and if they aren’t performing, there’s nothing the Board can do about it. The team that Moyes put out today should have been capable of beating Burnley. Even at 2-0 down it might have been possibel for them to salvage something out of the game. But the action of a minority of idiots in the crowd soon put paid to that. So well done, guys. great work. You absolute w**kers.

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Perhaps these people think that these actions will force Sullivan and Gold to sell the club, and if that happened, everything would be rosy in the garden. Well be careful what you wish for. New owners are no guarantors of success. Ask Leeds fans. Ask West Brom fans. Ask Southampton fans. I could go on. Does anyone think a new owner from China, Russia or Azerbaijan is going to care about the club as much as lifelong fans like the two Davids? Don’t get me wrong, they’ve made a fair few mistakes in their time, but they have made decisions which they thought were right at the time.

Look at this headline on the Sport Bible website…

Burnley Substitutes Let Kids Sit On The Bench To Escape Mayhem From The Stands

The kids were West Ham supporters. When they get home their parents will probably resolve never to take them to another game. Well done knuckleheads.

I’m rapidly getting to the point where I genuinely wonder whether I will renew the season tickets I’ve had for 25 years. Not because I don’t like the London Stadium because I do. Not because I can’t cope with seeing the team I love underperform – I’m used to it. No. The reason I may not renew is entirely because I don’t want to attend games which are ruined by idiots and thugs. I don’t want to be embarrassed anymore. That’s not what being a West Ham fan is all about.

Please be respectful in the comments. I know on days like this people think they can sound off, and fair enough. But no personal abuse. There’s been too much of that lately, and if it goes on, I’ll shut down the site. I don’t need to witness aggro at the London Stadium, and I certainly don’t intend to provide an outlet for it here. So behave.

Before the match a tribute was made to Bobby Moore. The great man will be turning in his grave tonight.

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Match Report

Match Thread: West Ham v Burnley

West Ham v Burnley
London Stadium
KO 3pm
TV: None

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

The GoatyGav Column

Striking Stats - Conversion Rate Tells A Story For Arnie

To say Marko Arnautovic has made a positive impact since the arrival of David Moyes would be an understatement. The Scot has certainly got an outstanding work-rate and effort, with a much improved attitude, out of Arnie with promise of further improvement to come. For me the biggest area for this improvement is his conversion rate.

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As a club West Ham don’t fare too badly in terms of conversion rates. When I looked at the stats I was a little surprised to find out that our lads are 6th in the conversion rate table with 36 goals from 199 shots (18.1%). One place above us sit Everton with 33 goals from 177 shots (18.6%). No big surprise to discover that the top 6 sides in the Prem are the same top 6 in chances created. Our problem doesn’t seem to be taking chances rather making them is the issue. In the ‘London League’ of goals/shots, which includes 3 of the top 6 sides, we top the table. Arsenal are on 17%, the Spudz on 16.9% and Chelsea, down in 11th, are on 16.2%. Not much of a consolation, I know, but a small crumb of positivity in the difficult times we find ourselves.

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Back to Marko’s the proof of the pudding is very much in the eating. When you compare his return with that of Javier Hernandez it’s clear he needs more scoring opportunities to find the back of the net than his strike partner. Despite a respectable goals per game of a whisker under 1 in 3, which is one game better than Chicha for his 7 goals this season, although Javier edges it in goals per minute at 205 vs 219, Arnie’s conversion rate sits at just 16.3% – below the average for the whole team. On top of that he also has a high ‘big chances missed’ tally of 5. You would probably expect it from a poacher like Chica but his 7 goals have come from just 26 shots giving an impressive conversion rate of 26.9%. He’s also missed less ‘big chances’ with 3. When it comes to shots on target Javier has a higher percentage of of 54% compared to Arnie’s 47%.

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We all know that strikers come in many categories. Some of Europe’s top marksmen, essentially, play out wide much of the time while others are more of a no.10 playing ‘in the hole’. It’s not, necessarily, pure goal pochers, or out and out strikers, at the top of the scoring charts. But with West Ham creating less chances it’s very important that strikers are more clinical in front of goal. It’s not just about stats – there’s a much bigger picture. Take a player like Teddy Sherringham. His stats don’t compare favourably with either of the aforementioned forwards but if you were given the choice of having him, as his former self, in the current squad you’d bite his arm off. The 199 chances that the team have created this season would undoubtedly, in my humble, be far greater with a forward of his intelligence in the side. In terms of both being in the right place at the right time to score, as well as create, chances was something he became a master of.

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For the most part Diafra Sakho and Andy Carroll’s stats don’t compare well. AC, especially, has had a poor season (when he’s managed to take the field) with 2 goals in 12 games at the same time as sharing a 26 shot total with Chicha. Andrew Ayew didn’t set the sky alight, either, with 3 goals from 21 appearances. In the cold light of day Michail Antonio has had a bit of a mare in front of goal this term too however injury has blighted him and, when you consider he’s scored 2 in the last 2, he seems to be recovering some of the form that made him so effective in previous seasons.

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If Arnie continues to play the way he is then he’ll become a firm favourite with the fans. In time, dare I say, possibly even a legend of the club. When he’s ‘on it’ the contribution to the team is huge but if there’s one area for improvement it’s finishing. More work to do.

COYI! West Ham 4 The 2019 Cup!

(Statistics quoted from &

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Opposition Q & A

Opposition Q&A With Burnley

After last week’s debacle of a game, this weekend West Ham take on our Northern Claret and Blue cousins at the Olympic Stadium. Ahead of proceedings I had a chat with hard-core Burnley fan Tony Scholes editor of uptheclarets to discuss everything Claret and Blue.
Hi Tony, the last time we spoke was earlier in the season, when Burnley had got off to a cracking start. Now you sit in 7th place with a historically safe 40 points, you must be delighted with your progress this season.
It’s been an incredible season for us so far. To reach 40 points with nine games to go is something we could never have dared think possible. We’ve even come through a difficult spell when we were suddenly facing all the top teams with quite often seven of our regular starters missing with injury. We finally ended that run without a win last Saturday against Everton and we’ve only been below 7th in the league for one week since mid-October.

Conversely West Ham are one of 6 teams above West Brom who are separated by 3 points: who do you think is going to go down?
This is a difficult one to answer. There was a time earlier in the season when it seemed Crystal Palace were a certainty, then it was Swansea and now it is West Brom. I do think West Brom will go but I’m not sure of the other two. Huddersfield lack the quality needed and I think they will be very fortunate to escape whilst Stoke are just not pulling away as most expected.

Sean Dyche is yet again proving that he can put out a team that is seemingly greater than the sum of its parts. Are you getting the credit you deserve? And do you worry that a bigger team is eventually going to make a move for him?
I don’t think clubs like ours ever get the credit they deserve. We played really well in the Everton win but on Match of the Day the analysis was exclusively reserved for Everton and Sam Allardyce. That’s how it is; we know it will never change. I was worried earlier in the season when so many Premier League clubs were looking for new managers. Thankfully, and incredibly, none came knocking at the door. Sean was on a one year rolling contract at the time; he’s now signed a deal until the end of the 2021/22 season which is brilliant news.

Last time we met Slaven Bilic was still our manager. How do you rate his replacement David Moyes?
Moyes did an excellent job just down the road at Preston and that landed him the Everton job and you would have to say that he was excellent there too. Then came that turbulent period. Manchester United would have been a struggle for whoever replaced Ferguson and it was surely the biggest career mistake of all to go to Sunderland. He’s certainly been a good manager. He’s just had a difficult three years or so.

Presumably Man City have got the title sewn up, I suppose most neutrals can accept that?
It will be crazy if they don’t win the league. They are a fantastic side with some incredibly talented players. We’ve played them three times this season having drawn them in the FA Cup. They scored two goals in that cup tie against us that almost had me applauding, so brilliant were they.

Who do you think will join them in the Champions League next season?
The other three for the Champions League will come from the next four because any teams from Arsenal down won’t be making it. I suspect Chelsea will be the one to miss out which would leave the two Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Spurs to qualify.

Which opposing teams/players have impressed you this season at Turf Moor?
I could end this right now with Manchester City. They were breathtaking at times but we hung in there and got a point in the end and not many have done that this season.
Other than City, I’d say Spurs. We don’t seem to be able to play well against them. They had some fortune early in the game with a bit of Dele Alli, winning a ridiculous penalty just a couple of minutes after he’d received a yellow card, but they were worthy winners by the end.

Which Burnley players have lived up to expectation, and who has failed to deliver?
So many players have lived up to expectation and beyond that. I hate singling out players but Nick Pope in goal, coming in when Tom Heaton suffered his shoulder injury, and James Tarkowski in defence have exceeded all our expectations. It’s always a team game at Burnley and rarely can you suggest a player has failed to deliver, and certainly not in this season. The one big disappointment has been Jon Walters. I thought he’d do a great job for us but unfortunately he’s been out for much of the season.

Last time we chatted you stated that you rated Michail Antonio, now that he has had a few games what do you think about Marko Arnoutavic?
I did, and Antonio promptly scored against us. I saw Arnautovic play twice against us for Stoke last season. At the bet365 Stadium he was, at times, outstanding. At Turf Moor later in the season he was downright dreadful. I hope he’s the latter on Saturday.

What do you find the most annoying thing about modern football?
Too many things to list but when I first started watching football we had a 3 p.m. kick off every Saturday afternoon, first team one week and the reserves the next. And we didn’t have to watch football in an athletics stadium either.

How do you expect Burnley to setup against West Ham on Saturday/ Team/formation?
If you’d asked me this last week I would have said almost certainly it would have been a 4-4-1-1 formation but we shifted to a 4-4-2 for the second half last week and it was effective. I suspect we’ll start with the 4-4-1-1 though.

Finally what is your prediction for the final score?
It’s about time we won an away game and it’s about time we got another clean sheet. We’ve been done with dodgy decisions in each of our last two visits to West Ham with 1-0 defeats coming courtesy of penalties. The last one at the Boleyn Ground was a pen, no argument there, but the red card was ludicrous. The penalty last season should have been a free kick our way. I’d like it if we got a penalty ourselves, our first of the season, and won it 1-0.

Many thanks to Tony for his thoughtful replies, again Tony’s musings on football can be found at uptheclarets. Well we are in need of a win, and I am hoping that we can break out of our current malaise this weekend. So a not too confident prediction of 2-1 to West Ham. COYI

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