Talking Point

The Y word & those Tottenham Songs

The use of the Y word has made the headlines in the last few weeks.

It all begun when the Football Association issued a statement warning all supporters that the use of the Y words could result in a banning order or criminal charges.

David Cameron entered the debate when he told the Jewish Chronicle there was a difference between Spurs fans “describing themselves as Y**” and the word being used as an insult. Even David Gold was quoted by Hugh Southon saying David is unfazed by use of the Y word by Spurs fans.

As we approach the Spurs away game on Saturday 5th Oct what is clear is that West Ham and the police have zero Torrance with West Ham fans using the Y word or singing any Tottenham songs which could be considered anti Semitic.

In a piece in the Sunday telegraph quoting a piece from Saturday’s West Ham v Everton programme it said “Any fan found to be acting inappropriately – including racist, anti-semitic and homophobic behaviour – will be punished to the full extent of the law and banned from attending matches. “The club, along with the Metropolitan Police, will continue to operate a zero tolerance policy towards any form of discriminatory behaviour.”

The trouble last season at Tottenham away was widely publicised with two fans receiving a police caution and another receiving a life ban. West Ham said in a statement at the time “West Ham United are in contact with Tottenham Hotspur to assist them with their investigation into the conduct of a small number of supporters and alleged inappropriate chanting during yesterday’s match at White Hart Lane”

What is less well publicised is what happened at Stoke home game last year.A group of West Ham supporters started singing the Tottenham song which starts ’We’ll be running about Tottenham with our…’ Although the game was televised on Sky this passed off without a mention as the ‘Tottenham song’ has been regularly sung at non Tottenham games over the years.

During the Chelsea home game uniformed Met police officers stormed the Sir Trevor Brooking Lower stand and arrested several fans pointed out by a plains cloths cop.
None of us understood what was going on at the time but it later transpired that a police undercover operation had videoed fans singing songs which the police and the club regard as anti Semitic. These fans were later charged, pleaded guilty at court and received 3 year banning orders.

I guess the point I am trying to make is singing a song can get you arrested, a criminal record and a banning order from the club you love and support. It’s just not worth it! I know we have all probably sung something in the past we shouldn’t but hopefully that was because we were too young to know better or they were different times. The club & police have been it clear that the defence it’s only football banter no longer holds any water with them.

Last year a Jewish West Ham supporter who is a journalist wrote this in The Guardian which I still think makes interesting reading on the subject one year later.

It can be found HERE

Talking Point

Paolo Di Canio Sacked!

It was reported, this evening, on BBC MoTD2 that Paolo Di Canio has been sacked from the Sunderland managerial hotseat. That makes him the first PL management casualty of the new season. Although results have not been good, so far, it had been widely anticipated that the Sunderland board would grant Di Canio more time to get it right, especially in view of the multi-million investment that they made this summer on his transfer targets.

However, early reports suggest that there may have been some controversy that sparked the sacking, perhaps relating to Di Canio’s approach to the players. This is a high possibility considering Di Canio’s controversial approach to player management in his short managerial career to date. Alternatively, there could also have been conflict with the Sunderland Board over the players or some other issue at the club. We ultimately await official confirmation of the circumstances in which the dismissal took place. And obviously, any response from Paolo Di Canio.

Paolo will always be considered a Hammers great and no one of a West Ham affiliation will take any pleasure from this news. Hopefully, he will take some time to think about his approach to management and find the right appointment to get his career back on track.

However, I guess it has to be asked, in light of this development, would Paolo’s future appointment as West Ham Manager still be welcomed with open arms by supporters? Alternatively, have fans cooled on that idea a little now? Or, is it still a case of maybe, one day in the future?

SJ. Chandos.

Player Performance Results

Results: Player Performances v Everton

Another top place finish for Winston Reid. And good to see Joey O’Brien in the top three. A very underrated player.

Talking Point

The Great West Ham Ticket Exchange Mystery

Last October West Ham announced an extended partnership with Ticket Exchange Company Viagogo

West Ham United’s Commercial Director, Barry Webber, said at the time “Our loyal fan base deserve a place to sell tickets they can no longer use to other West Ham supporters. Our new partnership with Viagogo, the world’s largest ticket exchange, is great news for both supporters who are occasionally unable to use their season cards and fans struggling to get a ticket to must-see games.”
Barry Webber

I thought this was a great service and used it myself for 3 home games I couldn’t make last season due to work or family commitments. It seemed everyone was a winner. The season ticket holders got some money back for the games they couldn’t attend ( in the case of mine I made a small profit on what they originally cost me), Viagogo made their commission from both the buyer and seller, the buyers paid for tickets which were usually already sold out so a supply and demand marketplace dictated the price and finally the club made a commission on a ticket they had already sold once already. Because of the quite high Viagogo commission charged it also meant Viagogo didn’t compete with West ham ticket office as the prices were more expensive than general sale prices.

I thought this service really added value to season ticket holders knowing they could legally sell their tickets on if they couldn’t make a game.

At the beginning of this season this contract expired and was not extended by West Ham. This was not announced by West Ham to my knowledge and slipped quietly under the radar of most people.

For the first home match of the season against Cardiff a season ticket friend of mine who sits next to me in the Sir Trevor Brooking lower was on holiday abroad so she asked me to sell her ticket on Viagogo. It was only then I worked out the service was no longer available.

I tweeted West Ham’s commercial director Barry Webber. He replied quickly saying the contract had come to an end and the club has reverted back to offering season ticket holders to login to the website and sell their season ticket once the stadium has sold out. Basically he confirmed they were bringing ticket exchange back in-house.

The odd thing was Cardiff was already listed as SOLD OUT on the Saturday but there were no options or instructions how to sell using the in house exchange service. I sent him a screen shot of the website showing it saying SOLD OUT.

He replied saying there were still a handful of tickets left and I should re-visit the website which had mysterious changed back to tickets being available again.

I kept on trying right up to 2.55pm on my mobile but the option never became available and no email was received to say that season ticket holders could sell their season tickets,

The same thing happened at the Stoke City two weeks later. I was away with my family in St Ives, Cornwall for the school holidays but despite being sold out no option became available and no email was received.

Barry tweeted out it was another SELL OUT but clarified afterwards “only before kickoff.”

I am not sure whether this in-house Ticket Exchange is working for anyone else out there? I can find no instructions or information on the scheme on or I have received no emails from the club on Ticket Exchange as I did about the Viagogo scheme.

This must be in West Ham’s financial interest to get right. They will make more money selling the tickets at general admission prices whilst the season ticket holder gets a credit back.

I hope West Ham remember the words Barry said in 2012 namely “Our loyal fan base deserve a place to sell tickets they can no longer use to other West Ham supporters”

Match Report

Match Report: West Ham 2 The Referee 3

Click HERE to rate the performance of the players who played against Everton.

If I see a worse referee at Upton Park this season, we’ll be in real trouble. Mr Lee Mason gives his profession a bad name. He had an absolute stinker today. The only thing he got right was our penalty, but that was so blatant he couldn’t really have done anything else. He gave corners when they were goal kicks and vice versa. He gave fouls when they weren’t and didn’t when they were. And he lost us the game. From my vantage point Mark Noble’s tackle on Ross Barklay was a brilliantly timed one. It wasn’t a foul, and it certainly wasn’t a yellow card. Sadly Sun Goals haven’t shown the incident, only the goal, so I will have to wait for MOTD to see if I am right. *UPDATE: OK, having seen MOTD, I admit it, I was wrong!

The first half was scrappy. Everton had a lot of the possession for the first ten minutes but we gradually made our mark and began to slot some passes together. There was no lumping it forward and defensively we were very sound. Everton played a lot of pretty stuff around the penalty area but I don’t remember them really having a shot in the first half. Morrison took his goal well, and even though it got a deflection which wrongfooted Tim Howard, it was well deserved. Ravel Morrison improved with every minute of the game. In the second half he felt confident enough to do some Joe Cole-esque flicks. To accommodate Morrison in his favourite position Mo Diame played out on the right and did really well. I thought Mark Noble had a great game. At times he orchestrated the midfield like a conductor. He won the ball tenaciously and drove forward at every opportunity. It was just a pity that his midfield partner Kevin Nolan contributed very little to the game. His balls forward were invariably hit too hard.

Defensively we were magnificent. The scoreline will never reflect that, but Reid and Collins were outstanding. And I thought Joey O’Brien was brilliant, back in his customary position of right back. The timing of his tackle on an Everton player when he was through on goal was superlative and is probably the incident I shall remember most from this game. Razvan Rat didn’t do badly in his first premier league game, although I thought the pace got to him at times. I felt he hadn’t really got much of an understanding with Matt Jarvis, but did better when Vaz Te switched wings.

And as for Maiga… well, the best that can be said is that he had a shot. Admittedly it flew over the crossbar, but at least he tried. Maybe I just can’t see what he does, but my Everton supporting friend thought he did well in the first half. Well, he would, wouldn’t he? Mladen Petric didn’t set the pitch on fire, but he did play a major part in winning the penalty, so that’s more than Maiga has achieved in five games.

Jussi Jaaskelainen has now conceded three consecutive goals from free kicks outside the area. Simply not good enough. He was man of the match last week, but those statistics will give cause for concern. However, would any goalkeeper have saved any of those free kicks? I’m not sure.

I think we just have the chalk this one down. For most of the game we played well. We played some good football. The sending off changed everything. Onwards.

Afterthought: What did we all think of the new stadium announcer? I thought he did OK initially, but no one could hear the half-times because he wasn’t close enough to the microphone, and he mispronounced Petric’s name, which was pretty poor. He kept saying Petrick.

Jaaskelainen 5
Reid 8
Collins 8
O’Brien 8
Rat 6
Diame 7
Nolan 5
Noble 8
Morrison 7
Jarvis 7
Maiga 4
Petric 6
Taylor 5
Vaz Te 6

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