Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's not easy being a West Ham fan and especially not this season.

Regular readers will know that I've been a West Ham fan since the mid seventies for some unknown reason. It's certainly not for the glory!

Whilst others in my school were cheering on Rangers and Celtic, I had East Fife and whilst others had Liverpool and Man United as their English teams, I had West Ham. All that suffering to bear from such an early age. I'd have been as well just wearing a sign that said "please steal my dinner money".

This season's plight has been one of the worst. Dire, although with some great uplifting moments, then back to even more dire.

November's 5-0 Carling Cup triumph over Man United is already starting to seem like a distant memory to most West Ham fans. My excitement of being able to see it in person at Upton Park makes it still live on. At least I have never seen them lose in person!

Sure, we still have a great shot at making the Carling Cup final, but even winning it will not ease the agony of relegation. The drop is looking ever more likely by the week. There's some result that lifts the gloom, but no consistancy to see us stay out of the relegation zone, whilst other teams seem to at least find some periods of form.

This weekend's debacle seems to have seen the Club hit rock bottom and I'm not talking about the 3-0 (going on 6-0) drubbing by Arsenal that has us still rock bottom.

Whilst on the BBC website on Saturday morning, I was genuinely excited by their "breaking news" that Avram Grant was to be replaced after the game against the Gunners by Martin O'Neill.

It cheered me up no end and even watching the loss play out that afternoon, I was buoyed that it didn't matter too much as we would soon have a manager in place that knew how to get the best out of players, didn't mind a battle, showed passion on the touchline and was charismatic.

O'Neill did wonders at Celtic and I feel he did an excellent job at Aston Villa. If he hadn't resigned before the season started, I don't think you'd be seeing them in the trouble that they're also in right now.

Avram Grant seems like a nice guy, but we all know that sadly nice guys tend to get pissed all over in the current footballing climate. He just doesn't have the demeanour in the dugout that instills an air of confidence to the fans in the stands, looking more suited to a part in one of the classic Universal horror films of the 1930's than a Premiership manager.

He fought well with Portsmouth last season, but the announcement that Grant was now most likely staying in the managerial hotseat till at least the end of the season, could very well be the final death blow to West Ham's surival hopes for this season.

On the plus side, it should stop the endless, almost daily, speculation surrounding his position. That can only help the Club and help everyone involved with it to focus their attentions 100% on avoiding the drop.

We may never know what's happened surrounding O'Neill. Did things move to quickly? Did he not like the news breaking whilst Grant was still in a job? Was there ever any truth to all the rumours in the first place?

Whatever it is, it's a blow and today just signalled further bad news for the Hammers with their plans for moving to the new Olympic Stadium heavily criticised and defender Manuel da Costa being charged with an alleged sexual assault.

It's just been an annus hooribilis for the Hammers that shows no sign of ever ending.

The stadium criticism isn't too worrying as Spurs' proposal has also been criticised heavily. I don't want them to move anyway. I want them to stay at their home. Let's hope they can do that and still maintain their Premiership status in the process.

For if they do go down this season, I don't think they're going to be one of those sides that's going to be coming straight back up again.

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