My initial idea, when submitting my first article for this site, was to share my fondest memories of West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground.
However, in the space of a few days my mind was altered by what happened both on and off the pitch in the space of just a few days.
Whilst we were expected to beat Swansea and put on a good performance in our last ever Saturday game at the Boleyn, West Ham decided to be typical West Ham and not only ignore the carefully written script they were performing to a sell-out crowd, but to completely rip it up and destroy the dreams of all those not travelling from Wales.
Going into the game, social media had lit up with the expectation of a comfortable victory. It wasn’t a case of IF we won, but more of the margin of victory. All signs were pointing to success in the minds of the East London faithful, despite the Swans’ impressive victory against Liverpool just six days previous. Then 3pm came along.
I don’t need to explain what happened on the pitch, however fans on social media seemed to turn against the side for the first time since our home defeat against Bournemouth back in August.
Whilst I agree that the defeat was a particularly difficult one to take, some of the criticisms levelled against the players, and in some quarters Bilic, were so far off the target you’d have thought they’d come off the boot of Benni McCarthy.
The comments aimed at Michail Antonio were for the best part wrong. He was chosen to play at right-back by Bilic, and whilst the likes of Byram and Tomkins might be better suited there, in Slav’s vision it’s where Antonio plays. Previously in the season, Antonio has earned rave reviews, mostly from playing further up the pitch.
Whilst I’m positive it is the minority who do personally tweet the players after a poor performance, I feel the criticism should be left at the ground when we leave.
Players don’t help themselves with their social media accounts, just ask Villa fans, but to seek a player out, just for having a bad game is not effective, but is juvenile.
Since Saturday of course, we’ve come to terms with the defeat and looked forward to the final Boleyn game against Manchester United. Whilst they are stellar opposition, UK media outlet Sky Sports News have been covering our impending last game with trips to the Boleyn and interviews with important figures both past and present.
In one interview, David Sullivan let slip (deliberately perhaps!?) that we were putting together large bids for two players. Once again, Twitter goes into meltdown amongst West Ham fans. This time with speculation of who might be on the verge of joining The Irons. Lacazette seems a favourite, an outsider being Walcott.
Sullivan announced this the day before the last game, which was genius. With fans already buzzing the day before the last game, giving us supporters something further to look forward to will only heighten the excitement tomorrow.
Come Sunday at 5pm, we’ll all be reflecting on the season that was. We might be in Europe, we might not. But this time last season we were watching performances that were not entertaining and our season had drastically dissolved in no time.
We have this season turned it around, become far more entertaining, had a player in the running for Premier League player of the season, and beaten Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City away.
This season has been a huge improvement, let’s not bicker on Twitter, let’s enjoy the season and remember the highs that hugely outweigh the lows.
Forever Blowing Bubbles…
Follow Rob on Twitter – @TheRobTaylor32