The first fixture of a new season can be seen as a fresh start for any club, where they can set the tone for the season.
An opening day win can be exactly the confidence boost needed to go on and perform across the wider campaign, while a loss can set the trend for a beginning filled with uncertainty- as West Ham discovered last season.
With this in mind, the Hammers weren’t exactly thrilled to see Manchester City as the first name on their fixture list:
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) June 13, 2019
The only way this could have been a more challenging opening is if it was away, as the Hammers are coming up against the side who won every available trophy in England last season.
The Hammers are becoming accustomed to being presented with unfavourable opening day fixtures though, having faced Liverpool last season while coming up against Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur during the first day in the consecutive preceding seasons.
West Ham will likely be looking forward to getting the Man City game out of the way, as the club’s following fixtures come against Brighton & Hove Albion, Watford, Norwich City and Aston Villa- which will all be seen as winnable games.
A selection of Twitter reaction to the fixture announcement, including posts from frustrated West Ham fans, can be seen below:
Obviously a tough side in Man City first game, but with a big home turn out we may be able to catch them off guard. After City there are 4 or 5 winnable games so with that in hoping for a good start to the season. COYI
— Antonio’s Fan Club (@OurLordAntonio) June 13, 2019
We always start with a top 6 side
— Sam (@theboleynboys1) June 13, 2019
Obviously it’s Man City first
— Harry (@harrychittock) June 13, 2019
Course it’s city first
— Jake Peralta (@JELC1505) June 13, 2019
Shocker. Up against a top 6 team as the first game again. Will the London Stadium be ready or will we end up switching for the Etihad?
— Southern Softy (@tlucy47) June 13, 2019
Scenes when we beat the champions 2-1 on the first day and then go away to Brighton and lose 3-0. The real West Ham way #irons
— G (@gdizzle1981) June 13, 2019
WHY ARE WE VERSING A TOP 6 TEAM TO START AGAIN
— mouncey (@mouncey17) June 13, 2019
They’ve got to be having a laugh now?!
— Matt Ware (@Matthew_Ware_II) June 13, 2019