Saturday, 26 September 2015


Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?
He got an ice pick
That made his ears burn

Whatever happened to dear old Lenny?
The great Elmyra, and Sancho Panza?
Whatever happened to the heroes?

In 1977 the Stranglers released the song “No more Heroes”, the song bemoaned the loss of strong figures at that time in culture, and pointed at their heroes and why no one else, in their eyes was coming through. Perhaps its an age thing, as I look now at the team we have, currently riding high in the league and I wonder, what has happened to the Heroes.
As a kid growing up in the 70/80s, it seems the team was littered with them, Bobby Moore, Billy Bonds, Hurst, Peters, Trevor Brooking, Pop Robson, David Cross, Phil Parkes, Frank Lampard Snr, Alvin Martin, Ray Stewart. Later on we added to that in, Frank Mcavennie Julian Dicks, Ludo Miklosko. Others of course came along, but I’m talking about real Heroes, the type of player you would pay money to see, the type of player you would pay to see talk about his days at a theatre. I look around the current team; in fact, I look around at the players we have had in the last 10 years, and apart from Mark Noble, I’m just not seeing Heroes.
My kids don’t follow the hammers so I can’t say who they adore, but when I look back at the team around that 70/80s period, so many had been at the club or stayed at the club for a long time, there wasn’t the constant conveyor belt of players, teams grew over a period. I can’t remember ever west Ham signing 5 players at a time and the fact players didn’t move about and generally stayed at clubs increased the affinity between the players and fans, of the list above 10 had testimonial games, some even had 2. Mark Noble is due a testimonial either this season or next but who else will get there. James Tomkins maybe, but is he a hero? Not for me a good player yes, but not a hero, as heroes don’t roll around outside nightclubs kicking policeman and getting arrested do they.
Saying that, as I think back to my all-time Hero, George Best, its well documented the scrapes he went through and was no angel, so that shouldn’t be held against James Tomkins. Perhaps its down to ability then, JT is a good Premier league defender, but he’s no Rio, and how many other clubs fans do you hear saying, “I’d have Tomkins”. Don’t get me wrong, im not saying JT is a rubbish player but do the kids of today or even us older fans look at him in the same light as we did/do Alvin.

The reason for my wondering about this subject is I regularly go to the Hammers Heroes shows held in Southend and at Hornchurch and also the excellent Ex-Hammer forums in Romford, where I sit and listen and generally laugh as the old timers reminisce about what many of us to be the glory days of the club, and I look at the current squad and those of the last 10 years and wonder, who in 20 years’ time will we be listening to, who would you want to listen to, too be more honest. Scott Parker, 3 time Hammer of the year, then leaves to go to Spurs, that went well. Reo-Coker telling us about his great game at Highbury, spilling the beans on Pardew’s demise, and his for that instance. No, not for me, I care not one jot what he would have to say, and I can’t think of others that maybe I would. Perhaps it is an age thing, but with players kissing badges one week, then moving onto to so called bigger clubs the next they don’t stay long enough to get and keep that Hero status.

Who knows, perhaps the Ex Hammer heroes of the future are this squad, that could well be the surprise package of the season, after not just 3 away wins, but 3 wins against supposedly 3 of the best teams with home records in the country that is no flash in the pan. You can’t ignore the Leicester and Bournemouth defeats but when looked at there was a pattern there. Both of those teams chased us down from their front, squeezed the room around our players, none of the other teams we have played, and beat, have done that. They let us play our game probably believing we would be more worried about them than they are about us. Big mistake, Billic is showing his tactical class in those away wins and also showing a great ability to lighten up the press conferences. From the parking of the bus but not having the handbrake on, to the winning those 3 games is like walking into a pub full of girls, Absolute magic. Im asked at times how happy I am that BFS has gone, at the beginning it was happiness, now though this may be early doors, I feel vindicated in taking the stance I did. I always knew that his way was the wrong way to achieve the results, and abit like Cloughie when he walked onto the Leeds training ground for the first time proclaiming they should throw their medals in the bin as they won them through cheating, in that Don Revie’s type of football was not the right way to play, and so Allardyce’s football, points accumulating, is the wrong way to play.

Lastly I visited the sales centre at the Olympic stadium to hopefully choose my seat, It didn’t go to planned. I wanted club 66, all sold out, nothing at all around that area either, in band 1 just the back rows are left, in fact, in band 2, just the back rows were left. The meeting descended into farce with the bloke who kindly took me in with him, Grouping its called, not getting a seat either. He complained, I complained to someone in the club on his behalf, the sales manager talked about me to another salesman that was overheard, and I got called a mentalist, obviously by some one who has read my output, but im guessing doesn’t agree with it. Anyway ive looked up Mentalist and what it means, wiki says this,
“Mentalism is a performing art in which its practitioners, known as mentalists, appear to demonstrate highly developed mental or intuitive abilities. Performances may appear to include hypnosis, telepathy, clairvoyance, divination, precognition, psychokinesis, mediumship,mind control, memory feats and rapid mathematics. Mentalists are sometimes categorised as psychic entertainers, although that category also contains non-mentalist performers such as psychic readers and bizarrists.”
I actually wouldn’t mind being a mentalist now after reading that, but if you go on the internet you can read a detailed report with unseen images that the club wouldn’t want you to see at
Many thanks for reading and may the good times last

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Band View

                                               Band View

Following my sales centre visit last week I will explain how the meeting went and how for some fans they wont be pleased with the outcome.
Firstly I will admit that the task of moving over 20,000 season ticket holders from one stadium to the other would always lead to some fans winning and some losing, and so far we have not really heard much disappointment coming from those that have visited already, but there may be a reason for that.

The fans with the Seats in Band 1 at the Boleyn have finished their viewings and chosen their seats, as they had first choice they naturally had the best chance of securing the best view, the band 2 viewings are coming to a finish and this is where i came in, with a couple of other fans, I'm not band 2 I am in band 4, but was looking to secure a Club 1966 seat, I sat in with a Band 2 Season ticket holder who sits right on the edge of Band 2 in the West lower, towards the Bobby Moore stand. I am guessing here but the fact he sits on the edge of his band meant he got allocated one of the last block of meetings for his banding. When the Stratford office gives out meetings to fans I believe that those in the middle of a band will get the first meetings and then they work themselves outward. Luckily for those in Band 1 as they came to the end of their meetings many of the band 1 fans would of moved into the 1966 seats and also obviously with a larger capacity stadium, there will be more seats to chose from without the need to sit in the back rows. All good with the band 1s then, onto the Band 2 seat holders, those at the front of the meetings  have been able to take up any of the unfilled 1966 seats and also move into the Band 1 spares. So why then when I sat down in the meeting was the Band 2 season ticket holder I was with faced with a virtually sold out stadium for bands 1&2 and the 1966 seats. In the Olympic Stadium there must be more band 1 seats and band 2 seats than at the Boleyn, throw in the extra 1966 seats why was Dave (name changed) so unhappy that not only did he not buy at the OS but was claiming that fans have been shafted so bad he wont go to the Boleyn ever again either. The answer lies in the introduce 2 friends policy, one which on the face of it has been so successful that many existing Season Ticket holders are being denied the opportunity of upgrading as there are no better seats to upgrade to. i wrote recently that the move to the Olympic stadium was based on a Robin Hood ticketing policy, Take from the existing to give to the missing, it seems in some cases that is the reality.

The Picture's above I took from the computer screen in front of me as the salesman started his pitch for David (name changed) to choose from. The colour coding for the larger picture is as follows, Red is sold out, green is available, Orange has limited availability, Block 139 was opened up, and as from the smaller picture you can see a sea of red seats, the purple by the way are Bond holder reserved seats, ill quickly explain that. Bond holders that are season ticket holders can not only buy a seat for their season ticket, but can also hold a seat for their bond, that seat can not be sold until I believe 14 days before the game is played. anyway back to Dave and his Hobson choice, He didn't want the last seat in the front of the West as was offered to him as he wants to have quick access to the trains station, which are in the East, from which the club estimate 75% of fans will come from. So all that was left was those 2 seats shown above, on the aisle, handy for quick exit anyway. The view from those seats wasn't for me to be honest, as the advertising banner round the pitch seemed to take up alot of the view.

but Dave seemed happy enough, and accepted that seat. Me, I passed on it, the reason was, i wanted the best seat, I was leaving my mates in band 4 behind to get the best view possible, but as i have said, they were all gone, so if I'm going to have a bad view, ill sit with my mates with it. 
This is where things took a turn for the worse, just as Dave was ready to settle up, it was pointed out to our Salesman that he couldn't sell them to Dave, as Dave didn't have an aisle seat at the Boleyn, and as the people in the equivalent seat at the Boleyn hadn't been in for their meeting. What was worse, the only other seats available were the back rows, we saw the view from the back rows, and bear in mind, these were still in Band 1, which when you look at the Boleyn bands in the tip picture, you'll notice that the back row seats are actually band 2, nice little uplift for the club there then.
The picture is Blurry but you can still see, for nearly a thousand pounds, that is not a great view. 
Dave was not happy, I wasn't happy for Dave, he wanted that seat at the front, but no can do. It was back of East, or front of West, but he didn't want West. He was Pissed off big time, mainly as he felt he had agreed a seat that was then 20 minutes later taken away from him. I then decided to try do him a favour, remember i wasn't buying, i was dropping out till band 4, i called someone inside the club,  to see if they could help Dave, sadly that made no difference , the sales manager wasn't for budging, the salesman was apologetic, Dave wanted to complain. they took Dave away to talk to him while i sat at the desk, 
it was at this point, the man who i believe to be in charge of the salesman appeared and sat at the back of the sales centre talking to salesman who had no customers. Funny thing is I heard my name mentioned, at which point the Salesman with no customer said, "what, that mentalist" and laughed. 
I had actually had enough, and to be fair I have been called worse, but it showed a big lack of judgement and in a way respect for what is at the end of the day, a fan of the club, i may be mental, i know i have caused problems for the club, at SAB meetings and outside in being vocal about the move, but in doing so all i have tried to do is to make sure the club did right by the fans. and this process is wrong. The fact any season ticket holder attending a meeting can take 2 non season ticket holders with them, has led to this, Fans at the end of band meeting being left the scraps no one wants, and as they cant down band, that means for Dave, that a fan in Band 3 attending his meeting that starts this week can choose a better seat than Dave was offered. the previous week. 
i actually think that it is now we will hear from the fans hard done by, Band 3, as picture above, is Bobby Moore upper, but realistic they wont want to sit upstairs behind the goal, if that view at the OS is put on the Boleyn map, The Bobby upper fans will be sitting upstairs above Nathans pie mash shop, so they then have to move to the side. The same for me and my mates, we sit Trevor Brooking Upper in the family seating stand, Which gives a great view of the pitch, 

This is the view the salesman showed me as comparable

when the salesman asked me what i was thinking, I just said, " you don't want to know what Im thinking"
I don't know if chaos follows me around, i don't know if the club was deliberately difficult as it was me, What i do know is there will be many upset fans in the coming months, that will feel they have shafted by the club they have stood by in the bad times. Long serving fans that have sat in the family seating stand for 10-15 years and now find that because they are band 4 they will get the scraps left behind, long term season ticket holders that have been bypassed in the Queue and shafted by a club that claim they are run by fans for the fans, and by owners that 12 years ago were celebrating with Birmingham City fans as West Ham were relegated. Fans that have only supported one club, showed the loyalty by not walking away through the lean times, but now we sit on the cusp of good times are given a take it or leave it ultimatum, 
Congratulations West Ham you really know how to reward loyalty.


Friday, 18 September 2015

In 2010 I set up 2 Facebook groups, One in favour of the move to Stratford, one against, the reason I did that was to gauge whether there were many fans like me that were opposed to the move. I remember at the time being accused of using a non representative picture of what the stadium would like so I thought that today I would use an up to date picture and ask again, 


The picture above is from the Bobby Moore Stand at the OS and is, I predict, a Band 4 seat, 
I know I don't want that view that is for sure, problem is as I sit in the family seating stand, which is a band 4, We have to wait till last as the clubs policy is to offer bands 1 then 2 then 3 those meetings if you have friends in lower bands they can join you in your meeting, grouping together, I think is the term is called
Not only that but the club have allowed every potential season ticket holder to take 2 additional NON season ticket holders to the meetings, effectively by passing existing season ticket holders and those that paid to go on the waiting list. 
what that has led to is a situation on Thursday where I sat in with a Band 2 Season Ticket holder while he was having his meeting, hoping this would enable me to get a Club 66 seat. Problem is there are non left in the central areas of the lower tier that he or I was able to take, The farce continued as He was offered a seat on an aisle which he accepted, I wasn't happy and asked to view other seats, In the West & East stands all that is left is the rear seats, which considering these are Band 1 I think the view is atrocious

 I admit the quality of the picture is not great but the distance is a long way from the pitch, and that is a band 1 so costs over £900. Just to give you what the equivilant view is at the Boleyn, it is around where the houses on the East side of  Boleyn Road are situated, 2 streets behind the current East Stand.

The meeting then descended into farce as after The original meeting holder, after being being offered a seat he was happy with, had this  taken away from him by a manger as it was an Aisle seat & it seems those that sit in aisle seats have to be offered them first. Problem was, all that was left was an aisle seat, so the only option he had, was to take his original seat he was offered, where he didn't like the view, or take a seat in the back rows. I truly felt for the Guy as to be honest it was no choice, I had already decided to go back to wait for my band 4 meeting. to Say he wasn't happy is an understatement, but rules are rules and they wont bend them, not for anyone.

The move was never going to be easy, getting 22,000 fans to pick seats was never going to be straight forward, but the problem was the allowing of fans to bring in the non season ticket holders, this has allowed the best seats to be filled, leaving those season ticket holders whose are given a meeting at the end of their band  with the scraps that no one else wants. 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

OLAS V Bournemouth

Today we welcome the newest premier league team to the Boleyn ground, a team that encompasses the Rags to Riches story that is normally reserved for fairy stories. In fact it is only 6 years ago that Bournemouth were fighting for their lives to survive in the basement of the lowest tier of professional football and yet today they are in the premier league, the land of milk and honey. Being in the premier league comes at a price though, not for the club, nor the players, but for the fans who have perhaps realise now that success does not come cheap. At The start of last season Bournemouth fans paid for the best seat, £660, which was advertised as a 20% rise on their previous season where they had finished tenth in the Championship, at that time their best ever finish. This season though they had another price rise, and their price to pay for the team’s promotion, just an extra £5 on the top priced season ticket. Obviously they have such smaller support that any of the other 19 teams in the Premier League and so they have to try to maximise their takings from match day’s as with FFP that seems the excuse used by the clubs to charge the fans more, it is the only way to increase income. Problem is with the price rises, the increased TV deal has meant that every fan could pay only £25 and the clubs would still take the same amount of money than they did with the old TV deal.
Bournemouth Fans today, huddled in the corner of the North that borders the East will be paying £45 adult £25 child's. 1 adult and two kids will cost £95 yet at their ground 1 adult and 2 kids will pay less than £500 for the season, 19 games.
The reason for pointing that out is to try show that even for the smaller clubs success costs and in reality it costs the fans more than any other sector in football, and then we come to today's ticket prices for kids, if you listed the 19 other premier league into our banding system, the top seven in Band A we know who they are , same every season, then you have the band B games and then you have the special games, Community, academy, KIDS FOR A QUID. Now if you was listing today's game, where would you put it, well for me this would be kids for a quid, all day long. first time in a league game we have faced them since the early 90’s in the championship, add to it that they are the weakest team in stature overall in the league how on earth is this not a kids for a quid game. What then amazes me is that our next home game is against the Geordie's, its on Sky, its on a Monday Night which means school night as well, oh yeah, its KFAQ. Night games are hard enough for kids as many parents may be working in London and may not be able to get back home, pick the kids up and then get to the game.
The only reason I can see is that those that run the club, The Chief executive and Vice Chairman are milking this last season for all its worth. Bournemouth being a Saturday game they knew it would sell out no matter how much it costs, Geordie's on a Monday night live on telly, possibly not as many away fans as well, better make that the cheap game. That is not a club run by fans for fans, that is business at work, our owners forever bang on about being fans, they do it for the love, not for the money. Well action speaks louder than words and the ticketing policy of this club Screams, Fcuk You. How many times on twitter has David Gold said “wed love to reduce prices, but we cant alone”, and don’t be fooled by the OS discount, its bollocks as well, the big discount is Band 5, problem is if you’re an existing STH you cant downgrade for a start and many I have spoke to are so fearful of the views behind the goals, they are looking to upgrade to the middle, so in real terms they will pay MORE at the OS not less. Karen Brady is getting thousands of season ticket holders to pay more money next season while getting the outside world to think we’re paying less, its marketing genius and shows why she got a million extra on her wages for securing the stadium, not only that, her crony side kick Tara gets a seat on the board as a director of the club. Tara the Coventry fan now sitting on the board with the Arsenal supporting Karen Brady a board supposedly run by fans for the fans, don’t make me laugh.
I tell you who are fans though, the stewards that patrol inside the ground showing the lost to their seats, some have manned their spot for years, where I sit I've had the same steward for at least 7 years and he is a fan, but how have the club run by fans for the fans repaid their loyalty, with the old tin tac at the end of the season that’s how, no move to the OS for them, unless they want to take minimum wage off OCS who have the stewarding contract, still at least West Ham can still claim to pay all their staff the London living wage, remember that big claim by Brady last season. West Ham was the first football club to do that, of course safe in the knowledge that all the low paid are now outsourced so don’t work for the club, and the stewards that do, will be gone as well. Another pat on the back for Brady. Still at least we know who to blame for last weeks debacle of the claret n blue streamer’s, the SAB of course, as it was in conjunction with the SAB that the club have come up with themes for games this season. I sat on the SAB, also I with 12 others specifically looked at the farewell to the Boleyn.

We met in Feb 2014 in the club, the lovely Tara was there to guide us and help with Ideas, a form was put together, that was put out to the wider fan base asking what they would like to see as themes for the 19 games, 903 fans took part and the response was varied, the top choices were
1. Bobby Moore tribute game. 6.88%
2. 80 Cup Final 6.88%
3. 90’s hammers Legends. 6.19%
4. 60’s legends 5.96%
5. 75 Cup Final & a vote for the Top 5 players 5.28%.

In fact there were listed 37 different themed games suggested by the 903 that took part, but yet Claret and blue day was not mentioned once, not 1 fan asked for that as a theme, but yet the club run by fans for the fans came up with Claret n blue day, obviously the YTS kid put in charge of buying the streamers must of slept in Saturday Morning, because he must of forgot the claret streamers so off he run down the Market, “ Got any claret streamers mate, no son, sorry, ive got purple though, Ok They will do ill take 2 thousand” and so off he ran back to the ground, hoping no one would notice. That has to be what happened because surely a club run by fans for the fans would of noticed that the streamers WERNT FCKING CLARET. If your going to do something so cringe worthy, cheesy and fake the minimum you would expect is at least get the colour of the club right in the streamers. Just look at the Palace fans, they managed it, and the fans themselves organised that not the club, perhaps that’ is where it went wrong, it wasn't organised by the fans.
God knows what other themes are planned but if they say it was in conjunction with the SAB then I'm afraid there’s a good chance its all Bollocks, the reason for my anger is that the SAB gets so much bad press by other fans, rightly so in some circumstances, but the farewell to the Boleyn was possibly the 1 area where those 12 fans could of made sure the club got it right., sadly it was not to be, just like my request to have a sponsor clean shirt front with the sponsors name on the back, they didn't like my idea to call it “The End” either, choosing instead the pony, Farewell to the Boleyn.
Perhaps I'm just bitter, in fact, thinking about it, I am bitter, I don’t want to say farewell to the Boleyn, as each game passes the bitter I get, the club is has died and all that is left is the funeral and the wake.
While I'm here I might as well mention the on pitch shenanigans, I must admit that I enjoyed the Leicester game, mainly that in the 2nd half we came out and showed that we have fight about us and we didn't need to resort to the negativity of the previous managers style. We are still a work in practice, Slaven needs to be given time to build his own team around how he wants it played, so im happy with any place this season above 17 as long as the football is played the same way we have for the 1st 2 games of the season.
Enjoy today anyway, there’s only 17 left after this one.

OLAS V Leicester City

One game is all it took for the club and fans it seems to be rejoined as one, Billic appointment had some sections wondering where The owners ambition was, worried about his lack of premiership experience was one excuse often levelled at him by some section of the fans, who it seems ignored his international experience and yet in his 1st premier league game he does more for the feel good factor around the club than his predecessor ever mustered during his tenure.
I know it's early days and 1 game does not make a season but it's an impressive start and surely the club can only grow off the confidence the victory brought about especially considering that with Leicester City and then Bournemouth coming to town I really do expect to see us sitting in top spot with 9 points before we head to Anfield. Now Anfield, that is a place I would love to be this season at the end of August but while I will be only 30 miles away, I'll be preparing for my godfather duties to my beautiful niece the next day, can you imagine the place if we could finally do the Scousers on their own turf for the 1st time in my and many others lifetime, bearing in mind I'm never someone likely to get carried away when it comes to West Ham, which has evolved in me after year upon year of the crash and burn seasons we generally have, I can honestly see us doing the Scousers and imagine that.
I stopped typing the above sentence as I was imagining that victory and the celebrations after, but just to show that the realist in me is still there, I still can't see us finishing above 9th spot but for me every season Is not about the destination, it's about how we get there.
For me finishing 9th is no different to 17th, the outcome is still the same, not relegated. There would be no fitting tribute to the old ground than to win a trophy in its last stand

Seeing Julian back at the club is also great, a couple of years ago I remember seeing him at one of the great EX hammer forums in Romford and during the Q&A session he spoke with great sense in how he saw football should be played, and it seemed to me he was influenced by the great man that signed him ,John Lyall.
Lyall for me was/is the greatest manager we ever had, not just because of the trophies we won, but the fact he was immersed within the club, 1st as a supporter, then player, coach and finally Manager. He had time for anyone and everyone and I still remember when I met him as an 11 year old, I was mascot for the day against Wrexham on the last day of the season 1981, he himself took my mum and I to his office, where we got to chat for what seem ages. The mark of the man came through when I remarked that Clive Thomas was out of order for sending him off at Wembley, he just said that its best left in the past & there was no bad feeling. He then took me to the dressing room where he introduced me to the days team. The fact he relegated the club twice is rightly overlooked and its a shame it did end the way it did but I will never forget that 10 minutes I spent with the man.
In fact when you look at the managers JD played under at West Ham Lyall Macari Bonds and then Redknapp, for me two of the best managers the club have had that I have seen, and my hero as a kid, Bonds. It will be interesting to find out who he says played a bigger part on his career. I think it was Ron Saunders at Birmingham that gave him his chance before he joined us still as a teenager, though his time spent under Lyall was not the best era for the club. Next up Macari, who to be honest, the only player I've ever heard say a good thing about him was Stuart Slater. Bonds quickly followed and remember the 2 of them played together briefly but looking back, it was Bonds that sold him reputedly frustrated by his discipline problems though the deal bore all the hallmarks of Redknapp pulling the strings. Yet he returned a year later, this time under Harry, and if we are honest, the football under Harry was the best we played while Julien was at the club, even achieving 3 top 10 finishes in a row, the only time ever in the clubs history that had been achieved.
It is just great to see him sitting in the dugout and I just hope he can show the players why the fans love him so much and perhaps help them to embrace the club in the same way he did.
I must admit that Billic was my no1 choice, I always thought the Klopp and Benetiz attempts were just the owners setting the bar unrealistically too high, I'm all for ambition but come on, leave Dortmund then join us, big backward step for a manager of the quality of Klopp. As for Benetiz, I liked him, he did well at Liverpool and Chelsea but I never saw him settling for DS buying the players, but I guess we will never know what the outcome would of been.
On the whole, it's great being a West Ham fan at the moment, so long may it continue.

OLAS V Astra

Hands up, who's missing Big Sam, come on there must be one of you. Ok it's early doors yet and with Billic being so well known to all hammers fans over the age of 30 and with the appointment of Julien Dicks, one of the greatest leaders of men West Ham has had in the premiership era, the good ship West Ham is sailing into exciting times. It is as if the last 4 seasons of football drudgery has been washed away and the new dawn the owners have promised for so long is starting to materialise. Problem is, Slavens start has not been that great football wise and the club can market and push the brand all they like, they can convince you we will be that great big club, they can convince you that despite fact from next season some of you will be watching football equivalent to sitting on the Barking Rd, Green St or in the living room of a flat behind the Sir Trev Stand that the view is better but what they can’t really control is players and the way they play. A manager can say all he like, but if the player when he crosses the white line has a bad day, as everyone at work does, then all those adverts and tag lines account for nothing . The club is selling a dream to the fans, “This time next year we will be a big club”, New stadium, new badge, new players, new fans. Problem with dreaming is sometimes you just end up like Dell boy repeating for years that it will be next year. While at times it is good to dream, when you wake up and realise it was just a dream the disappointment hurts even more.
As someone that never gets carried away I can't say I share the sentiments of those that believe we are about to gatecrash the top 6, the signings so far all seem decent, but as I don't play championship manager nor FIFA 15 computer games I can honestly say I have never heard of any of our signings & I'll wait till I've seen them play before I will contemplate either pulling them apart or bestowing greatness on them. I do find it funny though that many of the same people wary of Slavens return as manager, down to his lack of premier league experience, are welcoming with open arms players who have never played in England. Last season of the foreign new signings only Sakho really excelled, Valencia is hit or miss too much of the time, Song had the experience all ready. Our best signing came from the Championship in the form of Cresswell and Jenkinson on loan was a great coup, and one I hope can be renewed, the problem with buying British is it's mainly overpriced and no better example of that is Jarvis, 10 million for him shows you the pitfalls out there and they get more highlighted when looking at the Andy Carroll deal, you can now see why DS prefers to shop abroad, Yet the club is losing its identity with the local area, how many foreign players have we seen come and use us as a gateway to better things, and prime example of that is our new manager, how will he be able to convince players into staying at the club when he failed to do the same when he was a player. Don’t get me wrong, I think Billic was the right man for the job, just seeing foreigner after foreigner being brought in, with the chance they will push out the likes of Tomkins and Noble from the team is not one I find comfortable.
Of course it's very early days, while our season has started all the others are just getting back into training and formalising their squads, and the only time we can sit back and say we've had a good transfer window is once the window is shut and we can compare our squad with those around us and see how we are performing. I have seen far too many false dawns at this club to ever think, this could be our year.

As for Big Sam leaving, bit of a circus really, right down to the fact Sam was preparing to announce his resignation straight after the Newcastle game only to find that, mistakenly, it was put on the clubs website at half time that he wasn't getting a new contract, the mistake was quickly noticed and the statement was taken down, but just 3 minutes after the ref signalled the end of the game, the statement was again released. Sam was beaten to it and this in a way shows you exactly how the relationship had deteriorated between Sully and Sam. I was disappointed in a way we didn't get to hear his resignation speech, and regular readers will know I loved to hear Sam sing, so I've have combined his resignation speech with the song "don't cry for me Argentina"
So for the last ever time, BIG SAM SINGS,

"Don't cry for me West Ham United"

This won't be easy
You might think it strange
When I try to explain how I feel
That I never got your love After all that I've done
You won't believe me
All you will see Is a man you didn't know
And that I didn't follow the West Ham way
Was all that concerned you all

I had to leave you
As I couldn't change
Couldn't stay all my life down south
Looking out of the window & seeing the Sun shine
So I chose to leave you
I'd took you as far as I could
And nothing impressed you at all
But I never expected it too

Don't cry for me West Ham United
The truth is I never loved you
All through my bad games
Our stale existence
I kept my promise
Now keep your distance

I've made a fortune at this club
Though I never invited you in
Though it seemed to the world, we are all friends now,
It's just an illusion
They're not the solutions they promise to be
The answer was here all the time
I don't love you and know you don't love me

Don't cry for me West Ham United
I know you never loved me
You ignored my good games
I ignored your criticism
I cupped my ears
Now keep your distance
But Now I’ve said too much?
There's nothing more I can think of to say to you
But all you have to do
Is look at me to know
That every word I say is true.

OLAS V Lusitano

It seems like only Yesterday we were here last, but its only been 6 weeks and so the longest of seasons is preceded by the shortest of close season, Its good to be back and I for one are grateful for the Europa League as it gives us a chance to enjoy football at the Boleyn just that little bit longer, even if it is against a Pub team from some crappy made up place of a country that has no right competing in tournaments like this. Come on people, the Andorran football league has only 8 teams competing, they play in 4 stadiums, one of which is in Spain, and the biggest only holds 1500 people. Too small for them to play us in so its been switched to their national stadium that holds around 3,500, I swear you could get more in the Spotted Dog ground where Clapton play. As I write the Standard are reporting that nearly 30,000 tickets have been sold, unbelievable show of support for what is in reality a reserve pre season game, just shows you the power of marketing. If this game was the curtain raiser Pre-season friendly everyone would of laughed and we would have been lucky to get 10,000. Play in a European Tournament and we are on the verge of selling out, what is the difference? Cant say I know but it gives us a night out watching football so I’m happy as Larry, but it will be interesting to see what crowd the Werder Bremen game gets on August 2nd as the club want £20 a ticket for that game.

The beginning of July is also momentous time of the year for the club, on July the 6th it will be 10 years to the day the members of the International Olympic Committee voted by 1 vote, to award London the Olympic Games, kick starting the chain reaction that would lead to in my eyes the clubs demise, Just imagine if Paris had been awarded the games and not London. No move into the Athletics stadium for one as it wouldn't have been built. The club would of stayed at the Boleyn, some would argue that we wouldn’t have grown as a club, moved onto the next level, but what the next level is and how much it will cost to get there remains to be seen.
July 4th 1900, Thames Ironworks F.C had already been wound up, it had ceased to exist, mainly down to the fact that its benefactor Arnold Hills so disliked the professionalism creeping in to his club he decided to close it to be reformed as a professional club and so, on the 4th of July that year seven men signed a document that put in place the birth of West Ham United.
Cornelius Edward Osborn, James William Younger Cearns, George Handley, Charles Fundell, Edwin Smith, Aitken Brown and Lazzeluer Johnson were the 7 signatures on the clubs Articles of Association. 3 other men were named in the document as fellow Directors, John Byford junior, George Hone and Albert Charles Davis. The club secretary was a Welshman Lewis Bowen and he is shown far left middle row of the 1st team line up

Only Osborne lived outside the borough of West Ham, in Ilford to be precise, his job was listed as Working for the Thames Ironworks in the Sports and social club at its Premises situated at 55 Barking Road Canning Town. It was in that very place that the 7 local businessmen signed the Founding document. The building still stands today, though it is now a CafĂ©, its located opposite the Post Office just before the Canning Town roundabout next door to what was the Nat West bank when I was a kid but is now a dentists. It is believed most of the 1st Directors of the club had dealings with the Ironworks. Johnson worked there, as did A.C Davis and Jimmy Cearns, who was the first in a long line of the family to serve on the Clubs Board. Byford ran a timber company on the banks of the River Lea, Brown was a coppersmith. George Handley lived on a farm just off the modern day Newham way, located roughly where one of my schools, Cumberland Comp’s lower building, year’s later was located. Edwin smith lived in the Road I and many in Plaistow were born in, Howards Road, George Hone lived in a large house on the Romford Road. Fundell was an exception though, for he was an estate agent living on Balaam st down by the Abbey Arms Pub. Together these men came together to Form West Ham united F.C, there is no way they could of dreamed of what the club would go on to achieve, the last to die was A.C Davis in 1950, but we owe them as much as Arnold Hills for what they created brings us all together.
Arnold Hills remained a benefactor as he pledged to buy a share for every share purchased, though it is not known if he ever saw the team play. Hills actually wanted West Ham to be represented by players who were tee total, im not sure how far he got with that wish and I find it funny that one of the Lounges at the Olympic Stadium is called after him. He was himself tee total and also vegetarian, yet at the OS the club have named a lounge where alcohol will be served and meat will be eaten after a man that not only disliked professional sport but didn't Drink nor eat meet. Just shows you how much the marketing people at the club really know about the club and its roots.
My reason for boring you all with the history lesson is I have always believed that to know where you want to go, you must know how you got there.
Happy 115th Birthday West Ham United F.C