Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler has opened up to share his personal views on London Stadium.
West Ham United switched to Stratford in 2016 in search of success and regular European football.
Those expectations, however, quickly changed and in the club’s four-year tenure thus far, the best they have achieved is a 10th-place finish in the Premier League.
Hammers fans remain split on whether the move to London Stadium was the correct decision; the demolition of Upton Park certainly added fuel to the fire of those opposing the switch.
And Tyler has shared his experiences on the layout of the stadium. He told Sky Sports: “It is by far the most challenging commentary assignment in the Premier League because this is not a purpose-built football ground.
“The broadcast position is almost as far from the near touchline as it is from the far in most English stadia.
“In practice it is ok, but there is an extra element of satisfaction at the final whistle if you have called the action acceptably.”
Memorable victories have been hard to come by for the Claret and Blue faithful in recent seasons, but there is one special moment that comes to mind for Tyler. He said: “For West Ham fans the fixtures against Spurs are the ones ringed in red when a season’s schedule is announced. May 5th 2017 saw the first such clash at the London Stadium, which for a while had looked as if it might become Tottenham’s home. The two clubs competed for it initially when the leasing possibilities became clear.
“West Ham were coming to the end of their first season since leaving the Boleyn Ground, Upton Park and it had not been a smooth ride. The teething troubles associated with any move had threatened to get out of hand. Good results which would have smoothed out most wrinkles were few and far between.
“At this point, the Hammers had won only six of their 17 Premier League games in the London Stadium and home defeats had seen their exit from Europe and the FA Cup. With fears of relegation, there was pressure on the manager, the popular Slaven Bilic.
“One goal was enough because of a lot of diligent defending. In the 65th minute they did get numbers forward. An Aaron Cresswell cross was kept alive in the box and eventually Manuel Lanzini drove the ball home from close range.
“It produced arguably the loudest London Stadium roar in the short history of the stadium and it was matched at the final whistle.”
Despite Tyler’s admissions that London Stadium is ‘the most challenging commentary assignment in the Premier League’, there are certain aspects he does like. He said: “As a sporting venue, it is splendid. I was lucky enough to get tickets for my son and myself for a track-and-field evening at the Olympics. It was a brilliant experience.
“From West Ham’s point of view, I do understand the economics, but for those of us with a long history of working and watching at Upton Park, the contrast will always be in the negative. A running track hinders the view of anyone who attends a football match in such a multi-purpose stadium, not just broadcasters.”