West Ham are a club reunited under new playing style

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David Gold David SullivanI don’t think in all my years as a Hammer, I can’t quite recall such a momentous turnaround in fortune and in playing style in such a short period of time. It’s as if the previous seasons of grey-tinged awful mediocrity and tedium have been all but blown away in a seismic claret & blue explosion of pace, invention, movement and goals. We have gone from carnage to carnival, from woeful to powerful in quick-smart time, and the club is almost reborn as all facets of our beloved West Ham have merged and united to form a solid, cohesive, Premier League unit that has performed and produced beyond all of our wildest expectations.

As I write, we sit in fourth spot, the little east-end urchin in dungarees and cloth cap, dining regally at the top table having swapped pie & mash for oysters and quaffing champers in the exalted company of the be-suited mega-rich kids Manchester City and Chelsea, and sitting proudly ahead of Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton and others more used to Europe than not. Yes, it’s after a relative handful of games, and I fully understand that things change quickly and brutally in this division; however, we are there on merit, and we have arrived having played with a style and panache that looked impossible only months previously.

This is not a case of evolution; it’s revolution in all its power and glory, and for me, it has highlighted above all the influence of you and me, the long-suffering supporter who has fuelled this change we are witnessing where, before our wide and delighted eyes, a West Ham team now take the field who are full of youth and attacking intent, even from the back four, and have an ability to work hard and smart for the full duration, always looking likely to nick a goal from the very first to the very last minute. It’s the West Ham way on steroids if you like. God its great to see again!

I am almost reluctant to look back; it’s the here and now that really counts, that really matters. I am, however, convinced that the ground swell of anger and frustration that followed virtually every match last season – and prior – built up to such a crescendo that the owners could simply ignore it at their peril. Whatever your opinion of the Davids, let’s be clear that they are successful businessmen, and they live or die by the adage “the customer is king”. They saw the club being split and ravaged by division, by fist-shaking anger and by a genuine sadness that a once proud and vibrant club was now the stuff of tabloids and cheap-shot headlines.

They first appeased the baying mob by hoisting Teddy Sheringham on board and handing him the offensive rudder, requesting he steer the good ship Upton Park to calmer, clearer waters whilst keeping the opposition goal clearly in his sights. This in itself was a sign of intent, but with the same tired old playing style and uninspiring performers at the forefront, was anything really going to change? Probably not, and its here that the streetwise co-owners took the bull by the horns and went for broke! Exceeding the quoted transfer budget by a considerable margin, a whole new type and stamp of player was bought in; the new blueprint favoured pace, mobility, power, directness and, above all, finishing. Energy levels rocketed, average speed stats increased and all round the side was able to press from the front and stop opponents from building play deep in the Hammers territory, a previous management game plan that sent me scurrying for the tablets week after week.

We’ve all had plenty to say on where the blame lies and where the buck stops, but it’s time to move on and concentrate all of our collective energies into willing this new, exciting and buccaneering side of ours to even greater heights. Thanks to the board for sanctioning and funding the ingress of desperately needed youth, enthusiasm, pace and quality. Thanks to Sam and his staff for taking on board the absolute need to change, and for managing that change so quickly and so efficiently, and thanks to those fans who were not prepared to sit back and put up with things the way they were and who let the board know it WAS time to change.

Us, the fans, are important. We’ve vented our anger, and now it’s time to get back to what we do best; turning up in numbers and roaring the boys on…COME ON YOU IRONS!

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Plaistow born Spencer is a lifelong Hammer and having spent half-a century plus, enduring this lifelong obsession, along with every other West Ham supporter, knows exactly what it takes and what it means to wrap that Claret & Blue scarf round your neck every other Saturday and head off for the Boleyn !

A Chartered Surveyor by profession, Spencer, now 58, has played, coached and managed at semi-pro level within Essex for a number of clubs, and, simply unable to give up playing, currently turns out for the Iron Maiden Over 35’s side when he is not watching the Hammers, playing guitar in his Classic Rock covers band Gunrunner, or more probably, injured yet again!


  • Brian b says:

    Good sentiments & well put. We’re lucky in 1 way in that we’ve got owners to who this club is more than just a business or an investment. They love the club as much as we do & want the success for the club that we all want. They’ve put their money where their mouths are & proved that. If , at some time in the future , they make some money out of it, good luck to them. In the meantime, let’s get behind the team & show them that we’re there showing the same commitment they are to the team & the club. COYI!!!

  • Dave Branch says:

    Spot on mate. We let the board know we were far from happy and they responded to us; fair play!!

  • Dr barkus says:

    8 games into the season and it seems like a complete turnaround from last seasons performances.I give credit to gold and sullivan for this,they did not panic and they took on board the fans opinions and have acted accordingly.We are lucky,we dont have a “mike ashley type of director”at upton park.

  • beckton Geoff says:

    I have had plenty to say about Gandalf and the hobbit in the past but now they have come good for us, so to Mr gold and Mr Sullivan I say thank you for listening to us the great west ham supporters, and to the great west ham supporters I say please please stop booing our boys it doesn’t help, I’m not a fan of BFS or Nolan but I would not nor never will boo them at any game i am at they are part of our club for The time being anyway.

  • WhuG says:

    Good thread,well said. I have no problems with fans who in the past have stated their dissatisfaction with the owners and Sam and I respect them now when they say credit to them now because we are getting what we want from our wonderful club. The fans that get my goat are those that refuse to acknowledge the changes and are just waiting in the wings for a couple of bad results before they start the slagging again. Get behind our club and stay behind our club I say.

  • Johnny Mac says:

    West Ham v Man City. Well, this is what everyone dreams of playing in the Premier League for, to face the ultimate test against the reigning champions. Play your strongest possible team Sam. You are good at lock outs Sam. Just like Kompany & Co are masters of their defense, then West Ham need to be masters of our defense. We now know that we can score goals, there’s no problem there, but it’s keeping Man City out, there in, lies the problem. How do we keep Man City out? From my observations, sometimes it is almost damn near impossible, they are just that fast in attack and in ideas, and I’m sorry James Collins, but for any other team I’d pick you, but against Man City, no they can leave you for dead, like they have done to you previously, you just aint quick enough for them son. No, I’d be sticking with youth and strength in defense, like Cresswell, Jenkinson, Tomkins and it would be good if Demel is fit? And I am sorry Mark Noble, you just aint quick enough for Man City either, you were panting like a cart horse in this fixture last season, for anyone of the other teams, yes you’re 1st choice. If we can keep Man City, Aguero & others out, then we have a really good chance of winning this game on Saturday, because scoring is no longer our problem. If Fabregas can do it, then so can Sakho, Valencia, Song or Cole or anyone that anyone of these guys can sell a dummy for. Our 2 front guys will be Kompany & Co’s targets, but targets can sell dummies and anyone of our 10 outfield players can score. This is the real test, don’t let all of the glory from just the last 8 games go to your heads, as Fergie said, the season is a marathon, not a sprint, so pace yourselves for the long run, because if we can win this game, then we will be sending out a clear message to the rest of the division saying that yes, we are a top 6 side and also this will give a message to our new star recruits saying hey, stick around, you have chosen the right club and there is no need to listen to any future offers from the big poacher boys! COYI

  • Ronboy says:

    Don’t get carried away fans Liverpool were crap and Burnley and QPR are the two bottom teams!
    Nevertheless absolutely agree that things appear to be moving in the right direction which has enthused us all. I still find it hard to believe that bfs is prepared to accept that there is another way of playing the beautiful game but perhaps I was the stick rather than the carrot that brought about the current change and long may it continue. Saturday will provide us with a more meaningful experience of how we are progressing and I think the outcome will depend on how our boys at the back cope with speed and skills of this money bags outfit. Our front marauders can help by keeping their midfielders in defensive mood as we can win by a team effort rather than individual performances. I am hoping to see Tompkins back and some improvement from Valencia otherwise it wii be either Cole or Nolan. That would worry me a little! Coyi

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