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Is failure in West Hamís DNA?

Filed: Tuesday, 28th August 2018
By: Gary Steer

As a fan you certainly cannot blame the owners anymore. Theyíve put their money where their mouths are, employed a top manager and theyíve spent £100million on new players. I used to blame the board for everything but now I just donít understand it.

Ok, itís a new season and new players need to get to know each other, but the same issues are still there. Miscommunication, hapless defending and the inevitable flimsy capitulation. Iím just as fickle as any other football fan and I only "sing when Iím winning".

So, what and who is to blame? There needs to be a scapegoat or you just have to accept that West Ham United are the laughing stock of the Premier League. It doesnít matter who they sign, what they spend, who they employ as manager! Nothing seems to improve!

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I just donít know any more and itís maybe a bit premature and knee-jerk to worry. I do still think they will finish in a similar position to last season. Itís crazy that you have to spend £100million just to consolidate your position in the league or improve by a couple of places!

If you look at the situation objectively, they are slowly improving and if they could put the ball in the net they wouldíve been out of sight against Arsenal and even against Bournemouth.

So, I have theory and a solution. This is never going to happen and I know that people will moan and say ďOh you donít know what youíre talking about! Youíre not a true fan!Ē But bear in mind Iím trying to be productive and come up with something to move forward.

Firstly, Upton Park has gone now so thereís no going back. So you have to ask yourself what happens next. I also understand that the atmosphere could be very pessimistic at times at the old ground. The big issue is the seating distance from the pitch. I can only speak from watching on TV but the atmosphere - even when winning - is nowhere near as intense as it was in a smaller stadium.

Instead of the focus being on getting as many seats in the stadium as possible and making as much cash as possible, there has to be a way of getting those seats or additional seating on that stupid green stuff around the edge of the pitch which is a ridiculous distance from the pitch.

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You canít tell me itís not possible to fence off the top tier of the stadium (like they do at Wembley during smaller finals) and have some sort of seating placed on that green stuff? Personally I wish they would just get a new stadium built somewhere else which is a PROPER FOOTBALL STADIUM!

Ok, so how does this explain losing away from home? Well, away days have never been that great as a West Ham fan but this was made easier by the great atmosphere in the tight stadium. You didnít mind losing away from home against Liverpool because you knew the following week you would get a chance for redemption. And not just because it was a Ďlesserí team; it could be any team and Iíd fancy a win.

At Upton Park I thought Ďbring on Man United, Man City, Liverpool - ANYBODY! I fancy us today! We had the crowd on our side and the atmosphere was unbelievable! Also, home wins brought confidence and a bit of momentum which sometimes led to the odd away win. I honestly fear playing even league one opposition at The Olympic Ďbowl'.

Watch games against the top clubs during the last few seasons at The Boleyn and you will see great performances. With the new stadium you may as well just give the top clubs the three points before the game and not play it because the advantage is no longer there and never will be in its current state.

The likes of Man City and Liverpool struggled at the old tight ground because they got hassled by the midfield and the crowd were on them. Intimidation was there and now itís gone. Itís like playing 38 away games each season.

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So, for me, something has to change because the club will never get anywhere near the top six whilst the seating is that far away. I donít blame the fans as they spend hard-earned cash and they are entitled to moan. I donít blame the board now. I actually commend them on investing the £100million. I believe if the seating was right up close to the pitch we wouldíve at least beaten Bournemouth so far - easily!

The team will continue to struggle at Ďhomeí and the pressure will inevitably build and be carried into the away games. Until they find a way to address this humungous issue then you wonít see any progress. Yes you will win the odd home game against some of the íso-calledí lesser sides, but you will continue to see the bigger sides absolutely shred West Ham into little bits and embarrass them season after season.

So, we need some intensity back in the crowd and until this happens, the club are just not going to progress. Iím not sure this is the answer to solve everything but I would bet that my idea is better than how it currently is. Shove all the tourists into their own section and bring the real fans to the front and see what happens!

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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