By A Lady – The Incensed and Insensible Published 13/03/18 on Irons United
“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.” – Jane Austen
Like many thousands at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon, I bore witness to incredible scenes of which I’d hoped I had not seen…but in truth it was hardly surprising I did…and would not be surprised to see them again.
Many talk of critical toxicity levels as if the pumps have failed to pump cooling gas around the uranium rods. The club and fans are about to go nuclear and there seems little that can be done to quieten the raging masses from boiling over into hysteria.
This is not a recent act of defiance, nor is it merely a rabble seeking infamy…this had deep rooted ill feeling and much of it stems from before the move to the London Stadium. It almost seems devilishly poetic that the West Ham owners arrived to enter our world with a game plan to move us away from Upton Park…and we were blissfully unaware until it was too late.
The track record at Birmingham City should have rung alarm bells everywhere but the club was in such a mess with the Icelandic consortium financial mess, that we were almost blinkered by saintly saviours with blinding halos. I have gone on record many times…to anyone who would listen, that I had an uneasy feeling about what was happening at the time but was unable to narrow it down…I wish I had dug a little deeper!
A few years on…and look at the state of our club, our fans and our impotent team! They collapsed on Saturday in a second half spewing of crud that left many with little option to vocalise their pain and hatred or to go for sprints across the field of play…to evoke memories of bygone eras. This not only shocked the West Ham players into submission whilst the Burnley players ran rampant to slot three past Hart whom should not be seen in our goal again, although prior to the game I thought that both he and Adrian seemed to be on a par with incompetent oaths with arthritic arms and legs.
The known problems of stewarding at the stadium seemed to pale into insignificance as fans were repeatedly allowed to run onto the pitch to vent their frustrations. This new issue proved the stewards…who, if weren’t sat around sleeping or picking their noses, were totally incapable of preventing this from occurring…no wonder the club and stadium have held emergency talks on this matter. When the pitch invaders ran on, they were hardly chased down by a posse of the burly and brightly coloured…they were allowed to run amok whilst players either stood aloof, as they should in this situation, or react with fury, as did Noble and to a lesser degree; Collins.
Jane Austen wrote in Sense and Sensibility; of three Dashwood sisters who were forced to move from their Norland Park estate into their new home of Barton Cottage where there was supposed to be romance, love but they were fed with a splash of heartbreak too. Oh the comparisons! Austen published under an anonymous pseudonym of; ‘By A Lady’ for any ramifications would not be traced back to her good name. It seems we have our own woes that can be attributed to by a lady of our own…and a couple of chancers who have milked the cow dry.
The undeniable truth at present is that the owners and the rest of the board are fuelling the fire that rages within many of the West Ham faithful. Not that running onto a pitch can be condoned, nor can storming the Bastiille ever end with the victory that most wish for…however it serves two masters. It highlights the issues that fans are fighting for and which the owners must be made aware of…but it also deflates the team performances and individuals as a whole.
Although there isn’t a tangible link between the protestations and the team performance, it was alarmingly coincidental that the capitulation occurred soon after the first goal was conceded and the fan’s vigour reached fever pitch. However, let us not ignore that the team failed to build upon the first half improvements, Moyes was slow to react to early second half slumbering and they failed to protect the goal from a Burnley side that was gaining ground and feasting on greater spaces left by a lethargic midfield.
Regardless of player protestations, regardless of whether indeed they are trying their level best…it simply isn’t good enough, although the on paper, qualities would suggest that it really should. Moyes has set up with a formation that is not working anymore with the players that are on offer and is too stubborn to recognise the mire and change it up either. There are too many players in West Ham colours who still cannot perform for more than twenty minutes, let alone ninety plus stoppage time. There is determination amongst some, however they are being almightily let down by the apathetic and lethargic displays of others, who cower when challenge and are too feeble to offer suitable resistance when needed.
The root of all ills lies firmly with off the field failings and the inaction in successive transfer windows, however the team are doing little to dull down the flames and ease tensions from within the club and the fanbase as a whole. These tensions have sadly created factional opinion amongst the support who are just as likely to protest with other as they are to protest against any board member.
It was heartbreaking to see, it was bewildering to witness and it was a travesty that fans of both young, old and older were subjected to a terrible team performance and scenes of protesting fans that would only draw unwanted attention from the FA and the mainstream media alike.
We have a fanbase that is overflowing with pride for the traditions of our club that is being ripped apart from the unruly, the incompetent and the vane. There can be little value in owners going toe to toe with the disenfranchised fanbase now…big changes need to be made! Who, what, why? Who knows? However their presence is merely inflaming the current situation and is detrimental to any chance the team have of putting in a good performance to bring home some much needed points.
There appears to be little that can be done to pull the hordes back and make them see the sense that the board would wish them to see. There also appears little to make the insensible acknowledge the incensed and make good on failures past. We are in much need of sense and sensibility now and can only hope the team make it to the end of the season and survive for better days. Let the summer do its bidding and see where the water flows, but until then we need level heads both on and off the field.