West Ham United fans have once again been misunderstood by pundits ahead of further protests before today’s game against Southampton.
A large section of West Ham fans have been engaging in peaceful protests against owners David Sullivan, David Gold and their vice-chairman Karren Brady.
But supporters have received criticism from a growing list of pundits who say their actions are not helping the team.
The inference is that supporters have turned against the team as well as the owners.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
Fans have not turned back on team
In fact disaffected West Ham fans could have turned on the team a long time ago after a torrid season of underachievement and underperformance which has left them in the relegation zone.
But the fans have stuck by the team throughout, packing out the London Stadium and away ends every single week.
The protests at Liverpool did not stop the Hammers faithful getting behind their team. And it certainly did not affect the team with West Ham putting in their best performance for some time.
That has not stopped more lazy criticism being aimed at the club’s fans by high profile pundits Paul Merson and Martin Keown.
‘Treat every game like its Spurs’
“West Ham fans need to get behind their team big time this weekend,” Merson said in The Daily Star.
“The London Stadium needs to be rocking when they play Southampton because that is a cup final for them.
“Some of the fans are planning a big protest against the owners outside the ground. But why would you protest before one of the biggest games of the season?
“They need to try and make it like the Boleyn used to be, with the fans on it from the first whistle. And they need to stay with the players.
“Don’t turn on them if you’re not winning the game after 20 minutes. Treat it as if you’re playing Tottenham and back them for 90 minutes.”
Merson’s fellow former Arsenal legend Keown then added his two pennies.
Lazy pundits get it all wrong
“They can be an unforgiving audience at the London Stadium — the fans want to see ‘the West Ham way’ and a fight for Europe,” Keown said in The Daily Mail.
“But right now, this group of players could do with their supporters getting behind them.”
They, like so many others, simply don’t get it. The lack of knowledge and research is shocking for so-called experts.
This coming from Arsenal men who watched Gunners fans boycott games to force out the best manager in the history of their football club.