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How can we produce an atmosphere?

Filed: Tuesday, 13th November 2018
By: cockneyboy21

Iím a season ticket holder in my late twenties and generally do around a dozen away games each season.

I've travelled to away matches for the last 10 years or so. However I've noticed more than ever how atmospheres at matches are getting worse and worse. I'm including home and away fans into this. What can be done about it?

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I attended the Huddersfield game at the weekend and it was probably one of the worst away atmospheres that I can remember. There were a few rendition of 'Bubbles' and 'Come on you Irons' when we were going for it, otherwise it was very quiet.

Iíve always been proud of how we support our team on the road. I will always speak highly of our away followings and how vociferous we are despite generally being poor on the pitch for a number of years.

I recall losing 5-0 at Newcastle in midweek under Avram Grant with Leon Best scoring a hat trick, but our fans were constantly singing 'we are West Hamís claret and blue army' for what felt like the whole game.

There are so many other matches I've been to over the years when weíve been battered on the pitch but continued the non-stop singing in the stands.

Huddersfieldís crowd on Saturday was singing for the full 90 minutes aided by a drummer, flags and clappers. Now, Iíve always been dismissive of fans with drums that help to create an atmosphere that almost feels artificial and plastic.

Donít get me wrong - it must be easier to get behind your team when they are clearly punching above their expectations by being in the Premier League. This made me think - would you rather be watching a game with little to no atmosphere, or one being backed by fans with drums and flags?

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Times are changing and it feels like there is a heightened sense of expectation amongst our fans. Generally, away from home, itís felt like there has been less of this over the years, with fans backing the team rather than moaning and getting on the players' backs.

However I feel like there are more moans and groans at misplaced passes and shots etc from our away fans these days. People are entitled to voicing their opinion, but surely this is counterproductive?

I'd be interested to hear readers' thoughts on this; traditionally I know most people believe drums and flags are plastic and wouldnít want us to go down this road, but go and watch football on the continent and this is common everywhere.

So is it time for us to try and improve our atmosphere in this way? As Iíve already said, times are changing compared to where football once was, with terracing etc. Is this something to now consider?

Would this help make the Olympic Stadium more of a home for fans who dislike it, if we could improve the atmosphere and have a hardcore fan area where a proper atmosphere was being created?

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I'm opening myself up here to be shot at, as I am beginning to feel like this is something we should look at embracing rather than dismissing.

Personally, Iíd rather be going to games backing the team 100 per cent with singing and chanting - rather than how it currently is, with moans and groans appearing to be more commonplace than support.

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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