My trip to the Hammers Meccano city
My day started – for my trip to West Ham – on Friday. I was staying at Hanna’s house, as she lives in Goodmayes, near Stratford.
Before going straight to her house, I made a detour to White Hart Lane to see the progress of our new stadium. Since my last visit a few months ago I thought they had moved on quite considerably. Some say that the ground won’t be ready until next year, I disagree as most of the work left is cosmetic. Our new superstore is fully fitted out and should be ready a lot sooner. I’ll go for the Burnley home on the 15th December for our home debut.
I had parked in Sainsbury’s car park, and after spending about 45 minutes at the new stadium, I made my way to Goodmayes. Had a takeaway, with plenty of wine and fell asleep (obviously we won’t go into too much detail!).
The next day cometh and before you know it, I – with Hanna – was at Olympic City. A quick look around and then I made my way to the check-ins (Hanna went home, she isn’t a football fan). West Ham is unusual as both sets of fans go through the same check-in procedure (body/ bag search) – as opposed to different areas – and then you are in (but still not in the stadium). I made my way to the way supporters’ entrance, and on scanning my ticket, I was in (this time the stadium). I hope that is all explained competently?
My impression of the stadium was that it wasn’t as bad as some fans (including the home supporters) made it out it be. But on closer inspection, you notice the scaffolding, which gave it a Meccano quality. The stadium had a temporary feel, and if I were a Hammers supporter, I would be very upset (pissed actually). Where Tottenham and other clubs were primarily designed for their needs, West Ham’s was developed in a hurry with thoughts focused on profits and no consideration for the hearts and souls of the club/ fans. But that is my take on it, just a humble Spurs supporter visiting Meccano city. But then again why should the West Ham board be the same as every other club when thinking (not!) of their fans comfort and status.
Never mind, we Spurs’ fans, or any away travelling fans, only have to appear there once a season (if they/ we are lucky). Cup matches could bring us back, but we all have a proper home to call ‘home’ while they have a club that is made out of Meccano and designed for the Olympics and not football (somebody up there must hate Thames Ironworks, as they were originally called).
I must admit that their previous ground had character, while this ground does not.
So, we got our hot dogs, ice creams, drinks etc. and settled down to, hopefully, a win. Before all that, I acknowledged my friends, chatted to new ones, brave predictions (mine was 3-2 to us) and then the ball was kicked to signal that we were off.
Even though we won this match the goal count for us is a concern. It is very tight at the top and it all could go down to goals. But we won, and it is games like this, including games against the likes of City, that we must win if we want to achieve anything.
Mauricio Pochettino described Hugo Lloris as "one of the best goalkeepers in the world" after our side claimed a fourth successive Premier League victory. Eric Lamela scored the only goal against the hammers at London Stadium by heading in Moussa Sissoko's cross, Lloris made four outstanding saves to deny the hosts an equaliser.
At times Lloris appeared to be engaged in a personal battle with Marko Arnautovic, denying the Austrian four times.
West Ham's Andriy Yarmolenko was carried off on a stretcher with an ankle injury in the first half, while Javier Hernandez had a goal ruled out for offside in the closing stages.
The final whistle went and I walked back with Martin and his father to the station (we said our goodbyes, we’ll be meeting up again on Wednesday morning for the Eindhoven game). I got back to Hanna’s place at about 6 pm. I stayed for an hour and then made my way home. Finally, reaching my destination at 9.30 pm.
Our next game will be against PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League, but after that, we've got City on Monday night (29th October). This will be followed by a trip back to the London Stadium two days later, and then two days after that, we travel to Wolves territory. The game against the Hammers, I fear, is that we will send out a weak side, which will give them momentum and another cup chance down the drain. Just has it happened last season, same opponents, just different venue this time.
I am going to make a bold prediction and say we can end that week on a high (yes, undefeated!). An impossible task I hear you say, but, as somebody once said, mountains are there to be conquered and my prediction was told while in full control of my faculties and alcoholic free.
I will be going to the match on Wednesday in Holland. If you are going, see you there. I predict, for that match, a win… and if not then we can almost kiss that competition goodbye and here we come Europa.
So that was my day. A joyous result, but we must keep it up. Not an easy task, but our motto is “To dare is to do”.
Until we meet again, enjoy.
By Glenn Renshaw