A town called Malice and the club of foes! Published 29/03/18 on Hammers Chat
Can you hear the sound of a distant drum? Can you feel the ground beginning to pound, ripple and vibrate beneath your feet? Can you hear the bugle cries…the first call…perhaps the taps or is it the last call?
“Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” – Oscar Wilde
This coming Saturday, the game at the London Stadium will be the first and last marker of the season for the fans and possibly for the club as a whole. Whether protests will remain outside the stadium, whether the team will be supported throughout the whole match, whether emotions can be kept in check…the team of men, the band of brothers…the gaggle of misfits must arise like beacons in the night to light up the path towards surviving another season in the Premier League.
The club continued in their less than charitable methods to isolate the owners from the fans with disproportionate punitive measures against some supporters, whilst being justified with others. Moving to barricade themselves in the director’s box at the expense of disabled fan’s viewing pleasures, whilst it appears that the owner’s and club’s financial affairs would require much closer scrutiny in the matter of tax payments or potential avoidances.
The catalogue of errors and inflammatory events is relentless, which would only act to distract everyone from the most pressing purpose, which is to move the team into hyperdrive to deliver solid performances and emphatic wins in the next few games. Even club captain Mark Noble got in on the act this week with a personal letter to the fans urging solidarity in support of the team.
I must confess, I was a little surprised when I received an email directly from Mark Noble, via the West Ham website, addressed to Dear old me…however whilst it would be facile to overly scrutinise the words, the intentions were well versed and indeed well received. Of course all fans and players alike are desperate for the team to do well in the upcoming games to survive…then take stock in the summer when many changes will commence.
There have been mixed signals, if not messages, over the last few weeks whether David Moyes will continue to be the manager into the next season. Whilst it is looking less favourable now, the proof in any pudding will be in the final standing of the club, come the middle of May.
The 50,000+ expert opinions at the game on Saturday will no doubt have their say; before, during and after the match…but the only voice I care to hear is the stadium announcer’s final call…that would reiterate the winning scoreline from a West Ham perspective. One would have to be myopic, mindless and mute to not recognise that the team has not performed well for the whole season as well as the previous, and do not possess the right calibre of players in key positions that would facilitate a workable balance that would deliver with consistency.
However, these are probings for the summer as the club would look to rebuild the squad under new leadership perhaps, with newly formed systems and club structures in place. The here and now would motion to question what can be achieved with the current offerings and do they possess the gumption to provide suitable answers? Will the players that are fit and willing, be able to follow Moyes’ mantra, execute the plan and exterminate any opponents? Will Moyes look at his players, reconsider his formations and substitutions…will he address mismanaged positions and underachieving loiterers?
The air of anticipation is thick with tense appraisal, the players have felt the force of will from supporting hordes but would be split between appreciation and distraction. The fans have rallied with factional fervour but now must rally for only one common goal and forgo alienation, ruination and vilification…if only to keep prying eyes from gazing upon the club affairs for a little while longer.
Change is coming…whether at the very top, whether the club is ever sold, if the current owners recoil into their shell and not be seen? The direction of this change can only be determined by David Moyes and the players now…they alone can make the difference in the remaining eight games, they alone can battle with intensity not witnessed in some time and can challenge with greater potency.
The club is spent until the season ends, the owner’s hands are tied and the fans can only offer supporting cries and screams of urgency. Any of the thousands of dissenting voices would be justified in their continuing pilgrimage to territorial justice but there must be means and methods that would not affect the team in its greatest hour of need and would not sully the names of fans and the club as a whole.
The club is sat upon baron lands, burning embers ready to ignite, billowing smoke that would obscure view and howling winds that would make us cower in fright. This is the precipice that the club is balanced upon now, there is little value in negotiation or deflection as the game has already played out and this is merely injury time before the final whistle blows.
For now is the moment to be oblivious to disconnections with loathed imperial masters, now is the time to ignore differences of opinions and misgivings in the shadows where enemies lurk, the horrid who plot and the torrid who scheme. Now is the time to lend a hand to those who have fallen upon one knee, who have prayed for assistance and they shall receive even though they may not be worthy.
This is the benevolence of the supporting stations, this is the first order of business, these are the taps of feet and the claps of hands…and this is the very last call as the duties of the season are finally done. This is the town called Malice and this is the club of foes…but we shall overcome now, for the team…and then for the club…someday!