Talking Point

Guest Post: We can no longer beg to differ or engage in a civil manner. Why?

Guest Post by Anonymous

This follows on from "THIS2: article from the same author on the events of last weekend.

I just read your “piece for the Standard” You have just completely taken my head thoughts on this. Agree with every word and nuance in its entirety. Well done.

For the last two seasons, I witnessed two supporters who sit in front of me whom week in week out have hurled abuse at the players sat on the subs bench directly in front of us. Ayew, Carrol, Kouyate and even Antautovic have come in for nasty stuff at different times. I have come very close to pulling them up and telling them to shut up, but then it would kick off and just add to the woes amongst supporters and place me at risk.

The players sit exposed within inches of some supporters who are paying 4k a year for a seat and who have the manners of moronic pigs despite their earning capacity. My overwhelming impression of the last two years is of bunch of players terrified of the supporters. It reminded me of my years coaching kids football watching parents and other coaches scream at the kids terrifying the kids.

On a practical level the club should consider redesigning the subs seating in order to shield players from the supporters and get their focus on the pitch and not on what goes on in the stands. They perhaps also should start kicking out some of these abusive fans.

I mean in what other sport or entertainment industry event is it ok to scream ‘You f***ing lazy fat worthless useless c**t!’? Apologies for language, but this is what I hear week in week out, with many children present too. Whenever I have made comment on this I am dismissed with ‘Oh it’s just banter mate’.

And all this going on before the events of Saturday. Cancer starts small.

I brought up Brexit in my previous email that you posted on your WHTID. I am not sure if you read some of the replies on the WHTID forum, but some picked up on this and took my observations out of context in inferring I was blaming ‘Brexit’, identifying me as a ‘Remoaner’ with an ulterior motive and therefore totally dismissing my views because of this. They wholly missed the point.

We dropped a bomb with the EU referendum and it divided the nation, the same has happened with West Ham and the move to the Olympic/London Stadium, we are no longer West Ham United we are West Ham Disunited. This was the point I was making.

This is part of a much bigger picture, we are living in a way more aggressive abusive world than 25 years ago. The internet has also helped fuel this as people sit anonymously behind their screen typing their bile, something they would not do face to face, especially 25 years ago.

I have scaled down my involvement on social media to the point I am considering pulling out completely. I talk face to face more than I have ever done in recent years. ‘Talk Don’t Tweet’ is now my motto. Engaging with people in person is the medicine needed for over indulgence behind a computer screen.

Even amongst long term friends I pick up on massive polarization and divisive attitudes when on line/Twitter/Facebook etc. We can no longer beg to differ or engage in a civil manner, we are either A or B, Black or White, Gay or Straight, Left or Right, Fascist or Socialist, Tory or Labour or of course a Brexiteer or Remoaner. Everything now has a label. It feels that most people have forgotten that we are all humans with a limited shelf life. We simply need to talk face to face and rediscover the art of real communication and accept that we have different views. This world would be better for it. Of course, this is me being idealistic.

I do not know the answer to all this hostility and division, there probably isn’t one, I try not to get cynical about mankind, but it is very challenging not to just shut the door and stay indoors for the rest of one’s days. I fear for the future of my children and eventual grandchildren. The world has become a worrying place in recent times.

Talking Point

Evening Standard Column: Be Careful What You Wish For

This is an article I have written for the Comment pages of tonight’s London Evening Standard. I am fully aware my opinion on this is not universally shared, but it’s my honest view. Please be polite in the comments.

I’ve had a season ticket at West Ham for 25 years, but on Saturday I woke up and for the first time since Sam Allardyce’s reign, I decided I didn’t want to go to the game. In retrospect perhaps I had a premonition – not about the 3-0 defeat to Burnley, but the terrible scenes that happened in the second half where grown men lost their marbles.
They were scenes I found profoundly upsetting. Three days later I still ask how people who no doubt have perfectly normal day jobs can be so hate-filled as to want to hurl abuse (and worse) at the 82 and 68 year old joint chairmen, David Gold and David Sullivan.

‘Sack the Board’ is the usual chant of the more knuckle-headed element of any football club’s fan base. And what does that achieve? Does it make Mark Noble tackle harder or Joe Hart play like he was ever England’s Number One? No. On Saturday it achieved what it normally achieves. Sweet F.A.

Not that long ago West Ham came from 2-0 down to beat Everton 3-2. That was never on the cards on Saturday and it was entirely due to a few mindless idiots and thugs. There were some who no doubt wanted to recreate the so-called ‘glory days’ of the ICF, the notorious Inter City Firm, who ran amok in the late 1970s and 1980s. These men are now in their 50s and 60s but seem to fancy one last hurrah. Pathetic.

My heart still lies at the Boleyn Ground. My head tells me the Board made the right decision to move. Like many other fans I genuinely believe the London Stadium is a fabulous arena and we’re bloody lucky to have it. Yes, when the team plays badly, the atmosphere stinks. It is a myth that the atmosphere at Upton Park was rocking all the time. The sound of 57,000 fans cheering when we were beating Spurs and Chelsea last season rivalled even the greatest night games at Upton Park.

So why are there so many violent scenes at the London Stadium? We can blame the players, we can blame the stadium itself or we can blame the amateurish stewarding all we like, but in the end grown men have to take individual responsibility for their own actions. They should just grow the f*** up.

Yes, the club have made some poor decisions, but those who want Messers Sullivan to sell up should beware. Whatever their weaknesses, they care deeply about the club.
Does anyone seriously think that a new Chinese, Azerbaijani or Russian owner is going to give two figs about fans? Yes, they might deliver a short term boost, but that’s all it would be. Short term. Be very careful what you wish for.

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!

Click here to view the leaderboard

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

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.

Embed from Getty Images

Click here to view the leaderboard

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.

Copyright © 2018 Iain Dale Limited. Terms and conditions. Cookies.
Website by Russell Brown.