Sometimes you just have to accept the opposition played better than us and we blew it.
Can be taken many ways but I’m specifically pointing it to the draw with Arsenal on Sunday. The comeback by Arsenal is disappointing but I’m not sure it should have been greeted by Hammers fans with the taste of defeat.
Arsenal possibly had their best 45 minutes of football in the second half and we can’t really argue with the result because as good as we were in the opening half an hour Arsenal, once it seems they woke up, looked like the Arsenal we have loathed and feared over the past 121 years of West Ham United’s existence.
The one stat I heard on Sunday that really we should take heart from is that in that 121-year history, West Ham has only finished above Arsenal 10 times. It is odds that this season we will make that 11 and that is not only down to Arsenal’s erratic performances but mainly to our performances that have been consistent throughout the season.
We have just come round the final bend and took the first step into the home strait. We are on the shoulders of Chelsea while just a couple of paces back from Leicester and Man United. While the race has as good as been won by Man City, we should still go on looking forward, rather than peering over our shoulder at Spurs and Liverpool as sometimes, if you keep looking back to see where they are, you run the risk of knocking yourself out of your stride and falling. Then we would only have ourselves to blame.
Badge of Honour
Here’s a scenario for you all to ponder. If West Ham surveyed their 54,000 season ticket holders but only 30% of fans took part, could the club then claim that 66% of the 30% were the fanbase when using the answers of the 30% of fans that answered the survey? If the club did claim that in an article on the website would fans be right in criticising the club for spinning the figures to get their answer to appear to have the support of ’The Fanbase". Hammers United, as many of you know, recently did hold a survey. Just over 5,000 people filled it in.
Now the survey was open to non-members of HU but I’m happy to use the 5,000 figure in full as a reference because even though some were not members the fact they took the survey I’m guessing would mean they should support the aims of WHU.
Hammers United have been trying to get the club to buy back one of the old badges that used to adorn the exterior of the Bobby Moore Lower. Naturally, the club declined to buy it back from the current owners which is no surprise really as they could have taken it when we moved for nothing so why pay to get it back.
Anyway, HU in their recent article on their website claimed that 66% of “all” supporters believed our heritage was not suitably represented at the London stadium.
They didn’t say 66% of their members, which actually would also be false, nor 66% of the people that took the survey. No, They used the word all. When the club spin figures, like they did with the stadium move and also the badge change removing the castle, I called them out and highlighted the false way they used the figure. Hammers United for whatever reason have chosen to use a tactic I expect from the club, not from people supposedly looking to be better than the club in the way they present themselves.
The fact that 66% of whatever figure believed our heritage was not suitably represented at the London stadium baffles me anyway. When you are outside the stadium you see nothing but West Ham murals on the side of the stadium highlighting the club’s past. We never had that at Upton Park. Inside the stadium wall upon wall is covered in information and murals about the club’s history, aside from the shirts they hang high up with legends of the club’s names on them. While the seats may not be Claret & Blue totally, they have spelt out the club’s name and logo on the seating.
They even wave those soppy flags around the pitch with the old club badges on before the game starts. How much more do they think it needs? I’m not bigging the stadium up here by any means but let us try to sort out the real problems without creating fake outrage over something so bloody petty. Perhaps it’s easy for me to say but I just wish they had this outrage over the true history the club sold off – the cups the trophies, the gifts given to the club by ex-players and clubs we have played. Highlight and embarrass the owners over that, because that was our real history there sold off, not a huge bit of salvage metal that hung on a stand for 20 years.
Hammers United to me are going down a road that makes them no better in their conduct than the owners. They don’t need to take that path as the owners have a list as long as your arm of reasons to be critical about.
Last weekend I was invited by Iain, Lord of this parish to record an episode of his podcast series ‘Iain Dale All Talk’. Normally Iain talks to the great and the good of show business and politics but for whatever reason decided on me as someone he could get some good stories from. I believe its available next week and ill put a link-up for those interested in hearing. 50% was about West Ham, 50% about my life though that still intertwined with West Ham. This week Iain interviews Denis MacShane, who set a new record of 90 minutes for the show. A record that will only last 1 week it seems, as I probably live up well to the title. The podcast will be available next Tuesday. Iain says he will post an article and link to it on here.
Its been a year now since this country descended into what seems like a never-ending lockdown. People’s lives have been upset, put on hold and even destroyed by this situation and yet, its the best West Ham season in years. You don’t get more West Ham than that.
Best Wishes & Respect, HH to you and your family, from your family.