Football FanCast guest columnist Barry Thompson writes an open letter to his fellow Hammer.
To my fellow Hammer,
They say a West Ham fan is a different breed to most other supporters and we have to be, given that we are the only ones who are subject to extreme incompetence and turmoil behind the scenes. No club fans in the top flight have to put up with the kind of bull**** that we do on a perennial basis and perhaps that is why as a group we are such a fiercely loyal bunch.
It is a shame we don't attract the knights in shining armours, or the big money investors that other clubs do, meaning we will always have to work a damn sight harder to achieve success or, in our case at the moment, stay afloat. The footballing gods rarely shine on us and why one day it would be nice to see some fortune come our way and an investor who can not only bring stability, but ambition to the football club, at the moment it remains little more than just hope, so we have to make the best out of a bad situation.
One thing that has always been the backbone of the football club has been the ‘never say die' attitude of the supporters. When the chips are down we don't generally jump on the back of players, make a bad situation worse and there are times when we have actually inspired our team to turn around results. I do fear however in recent weeks that some negativity has started to creep in and whether it stems from our frustration and uncertainty over our future, due to our current financial predicament, I don't know, but the last thing we need to do is take this out on the players, or the manager, to make this sensitive situation any worse. You don't become a bad team overnight and the real truth is we are hardly in a financial position to change it.
We need to start showing positivity from the stands, start showing belief in the players and inspiring them to produce, because as the fella pointed out yesterday, the prospect of relegation, given our current financial position doesn't bear thinking about, so only the team can put us out of that possible predicament. The bottom line is that this isn't a situation when the players are poor, or the manager is inept, but the circumstances around the club has just created a feeling of uncertainty and it is something that has to be nipped in the bud as soon as possible. We have to make do with what we have at present, as we cannot afford to make changes, therefore we have two options really and that is to inspire and rally behind the current manager and squad, or we simply start to cave in, turn on the club and make this precarious position even worse than it currently is. It is a no-brainer in my book and I hope my fellow Hammer agrees.
So let's start this weekend, get right behind the lads from the off and even if we go a goal down maintain our support, because giving up and showing signs of being nervous and being negative is only going to rub off on the players. The club need us more than ever and given our plight we are the only ones that can lift the place, inspire the players, in the hope results to turn and ease the pressure off the whole club which appears to be at boiling point.