War Pony wrote: ↑
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:47 pm
Some of my best memories supporting west ham were in the championship! I think it was only a few weeks ago they showed the play off final against blackpool. I'd take that all day long over the rubbish we have been watching since we arrived at the bowl.
Last time, we had the right manager, at the right time, who had the benefit of knowing Kevin Nolan and getting him to come to us, Carlton Cole, Vaz Te, and all the other grafters like JoB, Gary O'Neill, ex-England keeper Rob Green, a younger Mark Noble, Tomkins, Collison, an in-form Winston Reid that got us back up at the first time. The current owners had only been here a couple of years, we had our own home and were an attractive proposition for managers and players alike, despite dropping down a level.
Fast forward 9 years to now and what have we got? A manager not exactly covering himself in glory yet, and I'm not sure he will, a toxic board that have been found out by the fans, media, and the football world alike, and a team of lazy, over-paid mercenaries who have the mental fragility of a soap bubble, and a 60k stadium that's not ours, and a fan base that see going to games as a chore rather than a pleasure.
Couple that with exorbitant prices for championship players with just a modicum of talent, debt still coming out of our ears, and a massive loss of income, I really cannot see us coming up again like last time. The circumstances are entirely different.
The only 'bonus' I can see would be that perhaps we'll see more of our academy players come through, but with only Declan Rice and Grady Diangana the only two of note that have come through in recent times, I'm not counting on there being a hidden talent pool to see us through.
Memory clouds judgement when good things happen, and my memory of the play off final was a pretty crap performance and us struggling until that Vaz Te goal and the subsequent euphoria and limbs, which pretty much summed up our entire stay down there that season. We didn't pull up any trees down there last time, and aside from the play-off final and the 6-0 drubbing of Brighton and the Vaz Te master class, it was all a bit pony and a damp squib. 5-1 to Ipswich anyone? The double done to us by the power house that is Derby County? Reading doing the double over us with a 7-1 aggregate? Threads being started because of the style of football after a 4-0 win over Watford? That season really wasn't that great, and playing good football wasn't a given. We won some games, and the play-off final was a brilliant day out, but let's not have revisionism of how great it was down there. It was ****. Going down now would be even worse, and we don't have the mixture of young, British talent, and experienced pros (Guy Demel, George McCartney) to get us up again.
If we go down and my prophesies of doom are wrong and we come back up, then brilliant, I'll be over the moon to be wrong. But I wouldn't be getting the champagne on ice just yet. Relegation won't just hurt the board - it will devastate thousands upon thousands of supporters too. I don't really fancy cutting my nose off to spite my face.