The Mike Ireson Column

Always looks on the bright side of life, de do, de do de do de do. Always looks on ………….

Come on everybody, sing along.


Right then.

I’m guessing by the stink eye you’re giving me and the reaching for rotten fruit to toss my way you’re not feeling that?

Too flipping right you’re not feeling it. What have we got to be happy about at the moment?

Sweet fanny adams, that’s what.

We’ve got a stadium we hate, a team that as each week passes gets worse and appears to forget more about how to play football, a new manager that already has that haunted look of someone who has realised they have made a monumental mistake, and we, the fans, are at the kind of low ebb we have not witnessed for some time.

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Normally when I darken your doorstep with my column I try to be light and fluffy, bring a bit of humour in, try and tickle your funny bone, I’m happy with a wry smile.

But man alive, I’ve struggled recently. There is just nothing to smile about at the moment when it comes to West Ham. And I mean nothing.

As happy as I am that we didn’t get beat by a cricket score on Sunday, playing a flat back 8 is not going to get us where we need to be.

It reminded me of when you’re playing Championship Manager (come on we all have) or Subbuteo (one for the teenagers) and you throw everyone back in a desperate attempt to prevent a goal. It never worked then and doesn’t in real life.

If we’re going to be lining up every week according to pages 4 to 12 of The Idiot’s Guide to Football Tactics we are in massive trouble.

Not sure what the tactics were at Everton but let’s hope we don’t see that page from the playbook again.

The only, and I mean only, positive thing from that game was the fans. It made me proud to be a Hammer to hear the away support singing constantly throughout the game. If you made the long journey to Merseyside on a Wednesday to be rewarded with that rubbish I salute you.

No matter how poor it gets there is always one constant. Us. Being West Ham is not a hobby it’s a way of life.

How many of you threw money at the club store over the black Friday weekend? I know I did. When you unwrap something that is claret and blue on Christmas Day it will make you smile more than any other present.

We’re proud, we will show who we are. It doesn’t matter if we are currently playing like Brazil or a hungover pub team with an early kick off.

At work I currently have a West Ham mouse mat on my desk, my glasses case sat upon said desk is a West Ham one, my security pass hangs around my neck on a West Ham lanyard.

Matters not a jot where we are in the table, it’s who we are, always.

The other week it was my Grandson’s 2nd birthday. Toys from Grandad? No chance. I of course got him a full home kit with his name on the back.

Upon opening he recognised West Ham straight away. My son is naturally following in the traditions of how he was brought up by me.

We were both all warm and fuzzy as we pass on this lifetime of up’s and down’s to an innocent child.

My wife didn’t get the kit thing. She thought we should have been getting him toys. But you get it don’t you?

Players, manager’s, owners, they’ll all come and go. We won’t.

I’ve just reminded myself that this is what we have to smile about.