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Kwame’s blog: Stylish football before results Hammers fans?

18:19 29 March 2014

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Is it ever acceptable to boo your team off?

West Ham's Sam Allardyce reacts to the crowd booingWest Ham's Sam Allardyce reacts to the crowd booing

On Wednesday night after West Ham had limped and stuttered to a crucial win over the ten men of Hull City a nationwide football debate has engulfed the club and its supporters.

Is it ever acceptable to boo your team off after a win? Whilst I don’t agree with it, I certainly agree that the fans at Upton Park on Wednesday night, after spending their hard earned, had every right to voice their displeasure at what was a truly turgid display.

There are two very interesting view points at the core of this debate: from Sam Allardyce’s point of view it’s his job to keep West Ham in Premier League by any means necessary and with 31 games gone as I write this, we’re currently sitting 11th in the table and nine points clear of the trapdoor – a remarkable turnaround when you consider that a 2-1 defeat at Craven Cottage on New Year’s day left us 19th on a measly 15 points – we now have 34.

The other argument at the core of this debate is equally valid – fans are being asked to pay extortionate ticket prices and with those prices come an expectation of entertainment. The last two home performances against Manchester United and Hull City respectively have been dreadful. They’ve lacked any kind of cohesive play or tempo and the one tactic employed in both games had been to hoof the ball up to Andy Carroll, and it simply didn’t work. Yet no variation was offered up whatsoever, hardly value for money entertainment-wise is it?

David Gold tweeted in the wake of the win over Hull that going to the Olympic Stadium debt free is the club’s only concern and it’s hard to disagree with him. If the first fixture at our new home is a Premier League one it will give us an incredible platform to compete at the top end of the league. The added revenue generated by an extra 19,000 seats, not to mention the corporate facilities, naming rights etc. would propel the club into a completely different stratosphere, one in which the fans could truly dare to dream.

However, if the club continue to alienate the fans with high ticket prices and mediocre football, how can the club expect to fill the Olympic Stadium?

Ultimately the question at the crux of this debate is: are West Ham fans prepared to put up with a style of play which emphasises results before entertainment with the bigger picture in mind? Or would they rather make a change in the summer and bring in a manager to get the team playing with a style and a swagger – but the caveat being risking their Premier League status?

So Hammers fans, what’s it to be?

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