Withdraw your Wallets!

Author: . Published: at 10:26pm

Written by Andrew Phipps @AndyJPhipps

After a resounding 3-0 win against Southampton and an unexpected (but welcome!) 1-1 draw versus Chelsea, one would be forgiven for thinking that we were putting together something of a good run of form. Right when West Ham needed it most, the team dug deep and delivered some much needed points, three of those putting our relegation rivals further in the brown stuff and ensuring that we didn’t trade places with them. Then the 1-1 draw with Stoke happened. I was on the way home from the game, texting my Leicester born girlfriend; she giving it the oft trotted out ‘Aww, never mind’ spiel, desperate to avoid an essay on the finer points of good goalkeeping, and I pretending to give a crap about how her latest book was panning out whilst giving her (what I think is) a somewhat abridged version of the aforementioned essay. “So, in the end, it was quite good?”, she replies, quite understandably for somebody who wasn’t at the game but only has a few facts to go on. But no. To the contrary, it wasn’t good enough. Here’s why and here’s what I propose we do about it.

I’m not going to sit here and deconstruct the game, I’m sure it’s been done and, to be honest, who the hell would want me to? What can be taken from that game, though, is that instead of regrouping and aiming high next season, we will be in a similar position and lower mid table at best. The word ‘ambition’ rings around the club, reverberating and echoing in the ear of each fan because that’s what the board have told us to expect. This wasn’t some rhetoric given to us before moving to the Olympic stadium but came as recently as the sacking of Slaven Bilic.

“The Chairmen and board of West Ham United…believe a change is now necessary in order for the Club to move forward positively and in line with their ambition.”

“We see this as an exciting opportunity to appoint a quality manager to the position to inject fresh ideas, organisation and enthusiasm into a very talented squad.”

“We will now focus our entire efforts on bringing in the manager we believe can get the best out of the current squad of players and steer the Club towards the top half of the table as quickly as possible.”

David Moyes was appointed as our manager, to much disappointment but after the air had cleared somewhat, the majority of fans got behind him. After all, we wanted him to succeed and needed him to succeed. So far, he has delivered more or less what we expected but this was only meant to be for six months. Being given a six month deal with the possibility of another two years was surely only a back up plan? Playing defensive football is only good enough to keep us up (apart from the fact that we’ve shipped so many goals, against some struggling teams too). Moyes sets up defensively no matter how we are supposed to do against the team we face. We should have beaten Stoke and there was the opportunity to do so but the manager hindered that. Now, apparently, in spite of how attractive we are as a club and the managerial candidates that are available, David Moyes is set to keep his job. I respect him as a person and think his general PR is top notch but he’s not the push forward that our club needs. It’s not a push at all. We may as well have kept Allardyce because, no disrespect to Moyes, he’s a darn sight better at it!

Equally, the players that we have been linked to are not exactly inspiring. Ryan Fredericks on a free? He might be a fairly good player but why aren’t we looking to spend money on a player that could be even better? It seems we are avoiding players who’ve never played in the premier league due to our own past experiences. Considering those who have come to the premier league and succeeded, surely that’s the failing of the scouting set up as opposed to foreign players in general? It beggers belief. Tom Cairney- who surely must cost us £20m plus? Considering Fulham rejected £15m from us in January and can still get promoted this year, this is how much he’s going to cost. So he’s going to cost a packet for us but I’d wager that I’d speak for so many fans when I say that he doesn’t necessarily walk into our team. And we’d have spent a decent chunk of our already small budget on him. It doesn’t make for good reading at all. It seems we are going for Championship players, including numerous goalkeepers and fringe players, (though there’s nothing wrong with that) and not even ones like Maddison.

Okay, I’ll stop now. I’m just upsetting myself. I used to be a big supporter of the board but to say that I’m now not so sure is an understatement. I do, however, want to see my club play football. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment but before both Burnley, Southampton and Stoke, I was really looking forward to the game. So, I’m not encouraging everyone to not renew their season tickets. To many, that is still unthinkable. I respect those who don’t want to 100% but I can’t bring myself to do the same. So this is what I encourage people to do:

After the success of the West Ham Way lead ‘Wear a retro shirt day’ versus Southampton, I propose that, going forward, nobody buys a single new replica West Ham shirt until the summer transfer window has slammed shut. The rumour mill does always seem to start just before season ticket renewal time, and there’s not much we can do about that, but we can vote with our feet and only buy a shirt (Or any new branded West Ham merchandise for that matter, including programmes) IF we are completely satisfied with the dealings in the summer. It has often been said that the club are always looking for the cheap way out (I’m not making a case either way on that issue) and if you don’t feel that they have invested in a progressive manager and have spent decent money to be able to compete in the premier league, then you do not have to invest either. Simple as that. Don’t spend a penny more than you see fit on a new shirt if you can’t see where this money is going. Just keep wearing your old one that’s steeped in history and what West Ham is all about. It’s different for kids but there are always exceptions. This form of protest puts the power into your hands and you can make your own decision. Don’t like where things are going. Hit them where it hurts without sacrificing seeing the club you love.


Thanks for your time.


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