There’s two hikers in the woods when all of a sudden they hear the growl of a bear in the distance. They both turn away in terror and start to run. As the bear closes in on them one stops.
“What are you doing you fool?” yells the other
“Putting on my running shoes”.
“You’ll never out run the bear” came the reply
“No, but I’ll out run you!”.
Hopefully our running shoes are on and we don’t take them off until the last ball has been kicked in anger against Everton on the last game of the season.
Currently we are one place off the bottom three our game in hand against Manchester United. As seasons go this is living up to be typical West Ham. Well before the Burnley match fans were urging others to stick together and get behind the team we know how that went belly up. The match against Southampton really is the one. Nothing less than three points will do. As a lifelong supporter and season ticket holder for many years I’d like my voice to be heard, not a keyboard warrior or member of a firm, just an honest view on our current plight. The final season at Upton Park was a joyous one and was made extra special by our infamous no 27. It was him that put us in the position we’re in now. Why? He was a unique one of a kind player. He lifted the old ground and gave us an unbelievable last season.
The first season was always going to be tough and teams rose to the occasion on their first visit. This season has been worse. Away teams smell the fear in the team and sense the anxiety in the crowd. The owners should of addressed the managerial situation sooner and gone all out for Benitez last summer. Dilly dallying fed back to the pitch and the result is where with are standing in the league.
There’s no structure regarding player recruitment and some of the performances from many of the team this season has been shocking. David Moyes has had a tough job trying to galvanise a disjointed squad and has done no different to Bilic as results go. Once again the owners seemingly happy to run a managers contract down without backing or sacking their man. You wouldn’t trust Moyes to get us up if he was at the helm when we went down.
If it all goes tits up this season how many players would stick around to try to get us up. I reckon ten first teamers would be off in a shot, who’d be up for the fight to try to get us back up?
That leaves us with the fans, a majority of people don’t seem that behind the team at the moment. A barrage of abuse if a pass goes astray and mouthful to the bench if “the wrong Sub” is sent on. Then any excuse to rip into the owners. West Ham certainly ain’t United at the moment, who’s to blame, the owners the manager or the players or us?
The Burnley match will be remembered for many a year for all the wrong reasons. Sections of crowd baying for blood of the board before a ball was kicked. The team were nervous and in my opinion the supporters who ran onto the pitch sealed the result before Burnley did. The fans calling for the owners to sell up as the game was going on was embarrassing to say the least. I shed a tear when the lights went out at Upton Park and Mr Moon finally left the building but there were no tears against Burnley. The team and everything that went along with it died that afternoon. I saw fans scuffling amongst themselves and others cheering for the team to lose by more. I’ve read stories online from people hero worshipping the pitch invaders to those wanting to lynch them.
This isn’t the West Ham I know and love.
Where does that leave me now? I’m privileged to home grown up a fan, supporter and follower of The Hammers and witnessed some pretty special times at The Boleyn. Win lose or draw that was always so unique at West Ham. Now it’s a chore, and the fun times are no longer there. The toing and froing of home and away supporters doing battle in the funny chant and banter stakes are no more. The security check point coming to the soulless walk from the stadium make it all the more dire. The only highlight being making it through the go signs before they’re swivelled.
My Mum used to ask me if I’d made it home safely after a trip to Manchester when I was a nipper, she was worried about me after the Burnley match. I’m 51, that says it all really.
So if we can put on our running shoes and stay ahead of the pack then we’ll be safe for until another season comes around. I think it’ll be as uninspiring as this and the one before. Pessimist, realest or just being honest. We’re still lost in the woods and a big bad bear called Relegation is closing in.
Run boys run.