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Lies - or unfulfilled ambitions?

Filed: Wednesday, 21st February 2018
By: Ten Thousand Miles From The Boleyn

I live ten thousand miles from the Boleyn. So what do I know about anything?

I was born in Upton Park and one of my earliest memories was watching the 1964 FA Cup Final on a tiny black and white telly. The Cup Winners Cup win was closely followed by my first visit to the Boleyn Ground. It was a great time to be a West Ham fan and in hindsight I should have probably cherished those moments a little more than I did.

The following decades brought a few notable highs, but for every Cup win there were plenty of heartbreaks and a few too many relegation battles. For every Moore, Brooking, Bonds and Di Canio there has been a conga line of duffers and also-rans, and while Greenwood and Lyall seem like long, distant memories, Grant and Macari still manage to haunt my waking hours.

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Yet more importantly, at this moment in history I still recall the antics of Brown, Cearns and Storrie. I know that Sullivan, Gold and Brady have certainly lost the support and confidence of a large number of fans, but if anyone thinks a foreign billionaire will care any more about them or that an international investment fund will be less interested in maximising profits I would say they are sadly mistaken.

I know the current set-up regarding the scouting and signing of new players seems haphazard and outdated, but just because a player is for sale and you've got the money doesn't mean they'll sign with you.

Many things (apart from hard cash) are taken into account when you consider a career move, and for footballers that must also include the attitude of the fans. It's hard to imagine many of us being attracted to a new job if we knew we'd be heckled while we work by a bunch of people telling us we're working for a rubbish organisation and occasionally, how shit we are.

Over the years we've all been let down at times but I struggle to remember a time when the vitriol has been quite so personal. I've heard the word "liar" trotted out an awful lot recently, but my understanding has always been that a lie is something you know to be untrue when it is said.

Unfulfilled ambition is not a lie, a wish-list that hasn't played out as youíd hoped is not a lie... although telling people the seats will be as close to the pitch in an athletics arena as it is in a football ground clearly is, and only a fool we believe otherwise. But the thing I find most troubling is a willingness to pick up on an unattributed rumour, unthinkingly pass it on, thus giving it some credibility and after several rounds of Cockney Whispers it becomes an honest-to-God fact.

I'm all in favour of a good march if the purpose is to register your disapproval with the actions of those in authority. Protesting the Poll Tax and burning Maggie Thatcher in effigy seemed totally justified at the time, but let's keep things in perspective. Thatcher wanted to turn the working classes into a greedy, selfish quasi middle-class whose main interest was how much their house was currently worth... Whereas Sullivan seems like a bit of a dick sometimes and Gold tweets too much.

I also treat Karren Brady differently insofar as I consider her an employee, and in my former working life I was expected to implement plans and actions handed down by the Board I didnít fully agree with, and had the choice of going along with it or quitting (no prizes for guessing which one I chose). Saying all that the sooner she stops talking about football in her Sun column, the better!

We have now entered the last third of the season and are perilously close to the drop-zone, we have a new manager and are just coming out of a terrible bout of injuries to key players. So I ask myself; is this the time to be creating unnecessary strife within the club and giving the press and opposing supporters something to beat us over the head with?

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The Board, the manager, the staff and the players all have a responsibility to do their very best to make the club a success. But we bear as much responsibility as they do, especially if we want the privilege of calling ourselves West Ham fans. I heard someone comment the other day they were worried that a good run of form leading up to the march will dilute peopleís righteous anger and the numbers will be down!

For me, Iím hoping we do have a great run of results and that the march is well attended; I would be there if I could. But I also hope that the mood will be calm and the result will be that some genuinely achievable demands get met, for the Board ainít going nowhere no matter how pissed-off everyone gets.

Yes, I live ten thousand miles from the Boleyn. But someone once said that time and experience provide judgement and distance offers perspective... That someone was me, and I said it just now... But while you may not agree with that and in the fullness of time it may prove to be total bollocks, does it make me a liar?

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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