As West Ham were preparing to bid farewell to their historic Boleyn Ground, their fans were preparing to welcome Manchester United in dramatic style.
The Hammers did eventually sign off with a 3-2 home victory, but the occasion will always be remembered by the ugly scenes that took place within walking distance of the stadium. United’s team bus came under siege from a barrage of bottles and missiles launched by West Ham fans – kick-off was delayed by 45 minutes:
Immature Manchester United youngster Jesse Lingard covered the action live through his Snapchat channel, showing his teammates cowering inside the coach. Michael Carrick, Anthony Martial and Adnan Januzaj can all be seen ducking for cover between the aisles, bizarrely clutching their phones whilst shouted expletive-filled reactions.
At one point in the video, Lingard pulls a mock expression of fear and starts calling for his ‘mummy’. Credit to United defender Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, who is the only player still sitting calmly, not tweeting nonsense, seemingly untroubled by the idiocy going on both out and inside the coach.
Images showed riot police attempting to shield the United bus as it moved through the notorious Green Street. The bus was dented and had the outer tinted glass smashed in the incident.
“It wasn’t nice,
“The coach got smashed up but we’re here now, so have to prepare for the game and go out and do our job.”
The incident doesn’t reflect well on either side. Obviously the West Ham fans will need to be seriously reprimanded for their violent actions – the club itself may yet face fines. But the response of the Manchester United players, particularly Jesse Lingard, whose astonishing immaturity was almost pitiful.
The mentality is staggering. My team bus is under attack, police are metres away from me risking their well-being to contain the situation… better pull out my phone and start being a prat for social media.