In particularly amusing and standard West Ham style, the Hammers’ start to life in the London Stadium centred around a PR gaffe.
Juventus were meant to be the first team to rival the Hammers in their newly-rented accommodation, with a one-off kit being launched for the 90 minutes against the Serie A champion. Enough already. It’s not as if the fans weren’t smacked around like a piñata stuffed with cash.
What do we make of West Ham's commemorative kit for the game against Juventus? pic.twitter.com/Tu8ESJ6mzT
— 90min (@90min_Football) August 1, 2016
However, the Hammers seemingly just forgot they had to welcome Slovenian outfit, Domzale, to the London Stadium for the second-leg of their Europa League qualifier.
To make matters even more ‘West Ham-esque’, the club prevented television companies from broadcasting the first ever competitive game at their home. They said it may keep fans away from going as they could just watch on the box at home. This is, of course, utter bullocks. The reason was, quite simply, the less ‘noise’ around it, the less hype over the Domzale game.
Tell you what, it’s almost like David Gold and David Sullivan run this club. Does anyone know if there’s a photograph out there where the duo aren’t crossing their arms? Is it a medical condition?
Ignoring the very West Ham ‘feel’ to all this, there’s no denying the London Stadium is one heck of a venue.
It looks like it has been designed by EA Sports on FIFA, with every beam to blade of grass carefully chosen for the job.
Bloody awful football stadium, though.
And no matter how much the Hammers sing, dance, jump and blow bubbles, the club have lost their identity forever.
They aren’t alone, and they certainly won’t be the last. Liverpool and Tottenham will be joining the ‘elite’ group soon. However, much like the Emirates and the Etihad, the London Stadium isn’t designed to carry noise.
Yeah, yeah; I know. You’re saying, “My section was noisy as fuck, you utter melt”. But trust me, every section is noisy at the London Stadium, the Emirates Stadium and the Etihad Stadium, but these new streamlined ‘sexy’ football stadiums aren’t about maintaining that Chicken Run ‘feel’ or that Clock End vibe.
West Ham fans would be one of the first to mock the supposedly quiet Emirates or the Man City fans that come as ‘seats’, but a quick glance around the London Stadium yesterday revealed a lot of Hammers had appeared to don the same outfit.
How come there's so many empty seats in West Ham's council stadium? Thought they had 800,000 ST holders & were London's most elite club now?
— Bryler Durden 🦄 (@patto1878) August 21, 2016
Sitting in my seat yesterday, as a non-West Ham fan (shock, I know) I was surrounded with chats from neutral football fans; United fans discussing Mourinho, an Everton fan bromancing hard over Ronald Koeman, and various other pockets of supporters from rival clubs.
That’s how West Ham ‘filled out’ their London Stadium, that’s how they ended up with a season-ticket waiting list that could stretch the length of the Great Wall of China.
There’s no problem in that. But the sooner West Ham fans accept that they aren’t going to eventually bring back that Boleyn ground feel, the more they’ll enjoy themselves.
These new football ‘stadiums’ are robbing us of the last bit of the beautiful game us fans had left.