I often find myself discussing anything I can about football with friends, family and quite often, complete strangers. It could be the classic debate of who is better: Messi or Ronaldo? Whether the likes of Pele and Maradona can be compared to players of the modern game. Is a certain player overrated? Should we have won that game? The list really is endless.
The beautiful thing about football is that it is constantly throwing up talking points. Sometimes they drag on for years, and sometimes they are over in an instant. As well as having a continuous supply of material to discuss, we have countless mediums through which we can get our point across. Some of us are fans of social media, while others enjoy voicing their opinion over a pint down the pub. Of course, many of us visit blogs and type out our thoughts for others to comment on.
I know I’m not the only one who feels they could talk about football for an infinite amount of time and that’s what makes the sport so great. The millions of people who have an opinion about the beautiful game and one way or another, they like to express it. But better yet, we are all different. We think a different way, act a different way and even support our team a different way.
It’s impossible to list any specific criteria and say; “this must be abided by in order to be classed as a football fan”. Although some people might think it, it doesn’t work that way. The old adage ‘each to their own’ is widely accepted with good reason, it makes a lot of sense. Yes, some fans might be more passionate than others. Some might be more knowledgeable about the laws of the game. There are those out there with a bank of statistics about every individual player and team for the last 50 years. Does that make them any more of a fan than you or I? No.
You may be wondering what got me on to this subject. As I sat in the pub on Sunday evening, then trawled through West Ham related articles on my way home from a disappointing result before discussing our performance with a friend on the phone once I got in, one thought couldn’t escape me. Everyone has a different view. A different view of the game, our performance, the club, the players, the coaching staff and the stadium. Anything and everything to do with West Ham, the spectrum of opinion stretches further than Green Street to Stratford station. Probably quite a bit further if we’re being honest.
This is by no means intended to come across as negative. It is merely an observation. It is quite interesting to think that some fans think three wins on the bounce and some minor improvements means we can head to Goodison Park expecting an easy three points. Confidence was high going into the fixture and the defence had started to get their act together, but putting the ball in the net was still a glaring problem to a lot of us. Combined with the fact we were coming up against a team with an in-form striker who had scored six in his last six games against us, a 2-0 defeat (and Lukaku scoring) wasn’t the biggest shock in the world.
We created plenty of chances but couldn’t score. Everyone had a stinker apart from Adrian. We deserved to get something out of the game. We were lucky to only lose 2-0. You could go on various sites and speak to a couple a fans and be forgiven for thinking we played two games on the same day. My personal view, for what it’s worth, is that we looked much like we have all season. Struggling for organisation at the back, being too reliant on Payet and Lanzini to create something and majorly lacking a centre forward who will cause problems and has the ability to create a chance for himself.
From my point of view, the Everton game is done and dusted. We now move on to Stoke with three points being a real necessity. They’ve shown how putting a good run together can quickly turn things around. Before successive draws against West Brom and Manchester United, they were languishing at the bottom of the table with Sunderland. Now, three wins later, they are within touching distance of seventh place. We can’t afford to continue this stop start run of performances (in truth, we haven’t even started).
As the season goes on, the various types of football fan will come to the fore. The defeatist is currently pulling the ‘I told you so’ card on all the optimists who couldn’t help but have high hopes for the big move. The realist knows there is more to come from the team we all love and soon enough, the pessimists will be waiting for everything to turn sour. The cynics are probably more interested in what Karren Brady and the board are doing off the pitch, instead of what the players are doing on it. At the end of the day, we all want the best for West Ham.
So many different thoughts, emotions and opinions. But what’s in store for the one thing that brings them all together? November can be one of the most important months in the season. Get left behind at the bottom of the table heading into the Christmas period and we’ll struggle to escape the relegation dogfight tag. Two wins out of three (obviously three would be nice) and we’ll be looking up instead of down as the New Year approaches.
Regardless of what type of fan you are, we know that West Ham are capable of betting things and sooner rather than later, we’ll see evidence of that.