Cheating in football led to Mike Dean’s bizarre decision to send off West Ham’s Tomas Soucek

One of the biggest stories that came out of the Premier League this past weekend had to do with VAR, which isn’t a surprise but also the English referee Mike Dean who made an error in sending off West Ham’s Tomas Soucek.

The incident was during the Fulham vs West Ham game which ended 0-0 and the game was so dire that the red card, in a way elevated it to the back pages and all over the internet.

The moment happened in the final minute when Soucek and the Fulham player Aleksanader Mitrovic seemed to collide. What had happened is that Soucek and Mitrovic were near one another and anticipating when the ball was going to be crossed in. Instead of getting caught up with Mitrovic, Soucek attempted to get clear and raise his arm intending not to hit Mitrovic but to raise it over Mitrovic’s head. He failed in doing that as Mitrovic of course moved at the same time and his elbow hit Mitrovic in the face.

This is where it gets interesting.

Replays show that Mike Dean had a view of what had happened but the game was going to carry on, then of course VAR stopped the game and asked Dean to go to his monitor, which he did. It was there that Dean reportedly viewed the incident 21 times, at least according to most media pundits he did. This is where, for most, the confusion sets in.

Dean had that opportunity to keep watching the replay, now if you are going to watch 21 times or at least he did watch many many times you must have a doubt. Were we not told at the beginning of the season that the incident had to be clear and obvious? So even if Dean did think an elbow was intentionally involved why did he hesitate?, he must have had his doubts.

Let’s make it very clear Dean made an error, a really poor mistake for a referee who has overseen over 500 Premier League games. But he isn’t fully to blame. Other factors were involved which the media have decided to ignore.

The first being that Soucek’s other hand was clenched like a fist when he struck Mitrovic. The second is that Mitrovic when struck went down too easy like he had been struck badly. The third is that cheating in football has got to such a level that we have seen the Soucek incident happen in every country that plays football where the elbow was very much intended. This incident is not as clear cut as it sounds, and West Ham manager David Moyes was emphatically wrong to say that VAR should not have brought it to the attention of Dean in the first place. Isn’t that what the tech is there for to look into incidents.

The bottom line is that Dean made an error and the FA have rescinded Soucek’s red card. The problem for Dean is that it is his 2nd rescinded card in a row after he sent off Southampton’s Jan Bednarek by mistake. These are errors despite his experience that are building up and one wouldn’t be surprised if he quit his job soon. The eyes and cameras will be burning up every time he officiates a game now.

Criticism from fans is fair enough and the pressure will now be on Dean at every incident he looks over and every card he gives out, even a booking will be questioned. However some ‘fans’ have crossed the line and Dean has reported to the police that death threats have been made against him. This goes too far and whilst most of the threats are simply being made by keyboard warriors, there needs to be a zero tolerance attitude to such behaviour. It is after all just a game of football. Of course nothing has been affected by it either as the sending off happened in the final seconds of the game, changed nothing and Soucek has been rescued by the FA.

Such has been the pressure on Dean that he has requested to the FA not to referee any Premier League games this weekend and the request has been granted. However all eyes will be on the Leicester and Brighton FA Cup match which takes place tonight- the referee, Mike Dean.

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Have David Gold and David Sullivan won West Ham fans over with David Moyes?

The tension filled relationship between West Ham’s owners David Gold and David Sullivan and the fans of the club is actually legendary. Hate is a strong word that really shouldn’t be used but in this case it feels that the Hammers fans really have no time for the clubs owners.

In the past games have been stopped because fans have wanted answers as to how the club is being run. Managers have been sacked good players have been sold and the final straw seemed to be when the owners decided to move stadium.

The new stadium was used of course for the London Olympics and whilst it is double the capacity of the clubs old stadium the Boleyn Ground fans have complained that it lacks the intimate atmosphere. They would be right. On the other side though change is good and usually is something that is inevitable especially in football.

Fans were outraged once more when at the end of 2019 David Moyes was announced as the new manager. This is the same manager that the same club had sacked just over a year previously. Inevitably life started bad under Moyes and the fans seemed very justified in berating the board for making obvious mistakes.

But slowly and surely towards the end of the season and when the pandemic hit West Ham went on a good run and finished the season quite strong. And yet this season was seen as the one where the club would return to the Championship.

West Ham were toothless in their first game of the season losing 2-0 at home to Newcastle United. However since then the club have largely been flawless. They have climbed up to 4th in the league and after 20 games already have 35 points. As a reference point last season the club finished in 16th position with 39 points from 38 games.

Moyes has worked tirelessy behind the scenes to make things better on the pitch. The Scotsman was once known for digging in deep and resting on his laurels but this West Ham team attack and they have upset many teams along the way. They have beaten the likes of Wolves, Leicester, Chelsea and drew with Manchester City, the improvement has been significant and for now West Ham seem to be going in the right direction.

Now how does this sit with the demanding fans? Well they seem to have gone quiet at the same time it’s hard to know the real scope of fans’ thought without scouring online club forums with fans of course not allowed to attend matches. But it seems that Gold and Sullivan as controversial owners as they have been have made the right choice in appointing Moyes again. It should have gone predictably wrong for the Hammers, but hard work pays dividends and one can say this has been the case for the Londoners.

Below we will take a look at the best players this season for West Ham and right now the club look like having their best season in the top flight since the 1986 season when they finished in 3rd place.

Aaron Cresswell

Aaron Cresswell has amassed an impressive 34 points playing in defence and has helped to keep seven clean sheets. He isn’t his job to score goals and since he has zero we can’t complain on that front but he has assisted in 5 goals which is very impressive.

Michail Antonio

Michail Antonio seems to be getting better by age and is a real quality striker on his day. So far this season he has scored 5 goals from 12 games. He does have a tendency to get injured and miss periods of the season but he holds the ball up well and isn’t just used as an out and out striker.

Angelo Ogbonna

Ogbonna now has 29 points and has helped to keep seven clean sheets at home. For a defender he has done well too as he has scored twice this season and overall he has been one of West Ham’s most important players.

Pablo Fornals

Let’s be honest Pablo Fornals debut season with the club was underwhelming, and much was expected. But he is working hard behind the scenes and that seems to be paying off for this season. He has 24 points and his value is 7m. He has been involved in 4 goals this season.

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Did Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah really dive against West Ham and should he be punished?

The big controversy over the weekend in the Premier League was when Liverpool played West Ham. The Reds came back from a goal down to beat David Moyes side 2-1. But their equaliser came by the way of a penalty, which many media pundits and ex footballers believe should never have been given.

Inside the box Mohamed Salah tries to take hold off the ball but West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku clearly caught the striker on the sole of the foot and Salah went down. In theory this was always going to be straight forward and the referee awarded a penalty. The problem is how Salah went down.

Salah seemed to turn into a 180 degree angle and it looked like he almost threw himself to the ground. Was their contact? Yes, did it warrant a player to go down as Salah did? This is what is questionable.

At the end of the day whilst pundits and the media are saying that there was no penalty to be had- there actually was. Masuaku’s challenge was clumsy, one can’t even point to the fact that he was going for the ball as his foot was nowhere near it, it was a silly challenge and disputing whether it was a penalty or not does not seem correct, 100% in the rules of the game this was a penalty and Masuaku had clearly made an error. But that doesn’t make what happened right.

It doesn’t feel like a natural way to go to the ground and it could have been in Salah’s mind that he knows he has been touched but to make it 100% convincing to the referee he must go down in a ‘Hollywood’ style way. And he did. So yes Liverpool deserved the penalty but maybe Salah as a consequence of how he went to ground deserved a yellow card.

Salah has a history of going to ground quite easily, and it is not a good character strait of his. He is without doubt one of the best forwards in the Premier League and one of the best in Europe. His impact at Liverpool can’t be measured. And of course because of this he is seen as a role model. That is why the more you look at how he went down just feels wrong, Salah is a role model to many kids growing up who will undertake the game and say quite rightly that they were influenced by Salah.

But players do not seem to get cautioned if they have been fouled against- that seems to make sense, but there are cases like Salah where it could be an exception to the rule. As an example everyone remembers when Brazilian star Rivaldo feigned injury in their 2002 World Cup match against Turkey- it’s a long time ago but it is a great example. Rivaldo was technically fouled as the ball was shot on purpose at him. It actually hit him as he was about to take a corner on the arm and partial stomach, and yet Rivaldo touched his face, screaming and went down. A foul suddenly meant a sending off for Turkey because of Rivaldo’s overreaction. It was an anti football moment by such an incredible player.

Salah’s foul in the penalty box just felt the same way. Of course Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has defended the Egyptian and he said that he had marks to prove he was fouled. No one is denying this, because Salah was fouled. It is the reaction afterwards that feels that the game of football has been let down once more.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Tottenham 3-3 West Ham

West Ham broke records as the first team since the Premier League started to come back from 3 goals down with just 9 minutes remaining in a game. And what a game of football this was. The often told tail that football is a game of two halves could be summed up here as fiery London rivals Tottenham and West Ham put on a dazzling, breathtaking show as the clubs drew 3-3.

But the game should never have been a draw, from the first whistle there was only one team in it and that was the home side Tottenham. Their last game here had ended in a controversial draw with Newcastle and it was clear that the players wanted to eradicate that memory with a memorable performance over David Moyes side.

Within 60 seconds Tottenham had made their mark and let it be known despite how the game would turn out Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son are at present the deadliest strike force in the Premier League. And they both linked up as Kane set up Son for a good opening goal. Son returned the complement just seven minutes later as he teed up Kane for Tottenham’s 2nd, and West Ham looked finished.

A 3rd goal followed as early as the 16th minute and it was Kane who reeled away once again- his 5th goal of the season, indeed he has been involved in 12 of Tottenham’s 15 goals this season, an incredible statistic. New signing Sergio Reguilon set Kane up and up to this point manager Jose Mourinho would have been more than delighted. Tottenham were bossing the play and looking for a 4th against a West Ham team who thought it was the start of the season again and that they were playing Newcastle.

The Hammers simply looked a shadow of the team that had beaten Wolves 4-0 and then Leicester 3-0 in their previous two games, was the international break to blame? Or was it that David Moyes had returned to the dug out? That seems harsh, and as it proved was. Moyes has worked hard trying to get the best out of this West Ham team.

Despite the 3-0 scoreline at half time West Ham hadn’t been that poor but just lacking in ideas. They had made 3 corners to Tottenham’s zero and had 2 shots on target to Tottenham’s 4. Second best yes, but not quite out of the game. Although in truth it did look like it.

As the second half kicked off and went on West Ham played some good football but to no avail and Tottenham looked like adding a 4th or simply easing to a 3-0 victory. Gareth Bale made his emotional return to playing for the side in the first time in seven years, and his presence was felt on the pitch when he came on as a second half substitute.

Looking for more attacking options Moyes brought on Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini and Mourinho took off Son to shore up the team, and then the game changed. Some have blamed Son’s departure in letting Tottenham in again as their high line came more forward and suddenly Tottenham looked more exposed. And then Fabian Balbuena scored. Still with just 9 minutes left, 3-1 was acceptable- Tottenham were going to win this game. But just a few minutes later Davidson Sanchez unfortunately turned the ball into his own net after a dangerous low cross, now it was 3-2 and there was a belief that Tottenham could blow this.

But cometh the moment cometh the man, Bale showed just how good he is as he escaped his man and ran with the ball it seemed as if something he has done many times before for both Tottenham and Real Madrid would end up in the back of the net and it was deep into injury time, this goes in and Tottenham have won the game. But he missed and the Hammers counter attacked straight away as the seconds were running down.

And then it happened. Call it hit and hope or call it a piece of magic but in the 94th minute Lanzini struck from outside the area and the ball went flying in via hitting the bar, it was an unstoppable shot. And even without fans the players went crazy and seemed to generate some sort of atmosphere within the near empty stadium. It was joy for David Moyes too he hopped and skipped on the touchline.

The Premier League had rewarded us with yet another game of incident and goals. As for Tottenham they should take encouragement that Son and Kane are on fire, that there are goals in this side and that despite a bumpy start to the season they have in fact lost just once.

As for West Ham it seemed after their first defeat in the opening weekend of the season against Newcastle United that looking at their fixtures the club were doomed. That hasn’t happened and if the Hammers keep up performances like these they have every chance to keep surprising their critics.

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West Ham internal fighting, playing poorly and they could have zero points by Halloween

At the end of last season which of course didn’t end until July there seemed to finally be a light at the end of the tunnel for West Ham. A team who looked one of the favourites to be relegated picked up 12 points in their last six games and easily survived relegation. One of those matches was beating Champions League hunting Chelsea, West Ham were for real and manager David Moyes had found the tactic to connect the players, or had he?

Was the back end of last season simply a group of players, us against the world, and us against dropping down to the Championship? Did the players unite together and show what they are capable of only to not get relegated? If so West Ham have more problems than they initially thought. That kind of team spirit usually leads to the sacking of the manager six months later and everything slowly falling apart. Players can’t win every game, granted, but there needs to be the want to play 100% for the team, throw in consistency and you a decent side.

Last season West Ham had dreams of being Wolves or Sheffield United but they played much like bottom club Norwich for the majority of the season. But those final few games did suggest that the team had turned a corner and yet they went and lost their first game of the season.

A 2-0 loss at home v Newcastle is not good, but of course it isn’t the end of the world. But it was the way the team played. It was as if this game was number 60 in a long hard season and not the Hammers first. Everything seemed off even Moyes final team selection. Leaving Felipe Anderson on the bench just seemed odd. The players played without heart in a game that on paper they could have won. There was nothing here, it reminded one of their first game of the season last August, against Manchester City they put in a dire toothless display. But then again this was Manchester City. But still he performance was a foreshadow of how the majority of their season would end up.

Then there is the in fighting. Thankfully this isn’t with Moyes, he’s seen as the good guy and the players are with him, though you would be forgiven for thinking that in the Newcastle game. This is all down to ownership,David Sullivan and David Gold need to go according to West Ham fans, enough is enough. Wasted money, too much bad recruitment and of course THAT stadium move, the fans have had enough. It’s hard to blame them, change is needed and fresh owners that can pounce on ideas and inject cash into the team would be a welcome change.

Possibly the final straw for the players, especially captain Mark Noble was when the board decided to sell Grady Diangana. He tweeted his disapproval with “As captain of this football club I’m gutted, angry and sad that Grady has left, great kid with a great future!!!!!” Diangana was sold to Premier League rivals West Bromwich Albion for just £18m which is a steal if as Noble suggested he goes on to have a great future. West Ham will counter that with the pandemic they needed to raise some money.

As for Noble most football media have said he was wrong to make his feelings public, but at the same time Noble isn’t stupid and did this to highlight the fact that Sullivan and Gold need to go. At the same time all of this came on eve of their Premier League game with Newcastle and with such a poor display Noble was made the scapegoat. But Noble would have told his teammates of his feelings behind the scenes anyway.

Despite a poor league performance West Ham did beat Charlton in the Carabao Cup which was a big boost for the club in their 3-0 win. It was telling that Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko who played with pace on the flanks both started, and yet in the league match remained on the bench.

Maybe there is hope for the side to bounce back quick, but they have a very tough schedule up until October 31st. Their next league game is away to Arsenal who have an abundance of confidence right now and that will be the Gunners first home game of the season. Then they will return home to play Wolves which will be a tricky game and Wolves controlled the last match played at London Stadium near the end of last season.

Leicester is up next and that is at King Power Stadium and with the way the Foxes have started this season they look just as good as last. Then it’s time for more London rivals as they take on Tottenham away from home, by then Jose Mourinho’s side could be in need of points themselves after starting the campaign with a loss.

What follows is a double whammy. Facing the last two Premier League champions. It’s Manchester City at home first up, in a fixture that ended 5-0 to City last season. And then on Halloween it could be a right horror story when the club face the champions Liverpool at Anfield.

It’s very possible that David Moyes team could be looking for their first point as we enter November. At the same time the Hammers have proven to step up in the face of tough fixtures before just look to last Christmas as evidence for that, and then again the last few games of last season. There is that burning desire in the team that somehow lasts, and that is to prove people wrong in the heat of it, but fail against teams in which they are expected to beat.

This will be an interesting few weeks then and will show the real character of the club. David Moyes winning percentage for them simply isn’t good enough though and the writing may start to get written on the wall as early as November. For West Ham it’s time to step up once more.

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Can West Ham move on with David Moyes or was the end of last season a false dawn?

David Moyes and West Ham- the two parties have quite a history together. Moyes is in his 2nd stint with the club after being sacked in the first one. He was rehired last season with the Hammers in trouble. They looked like they would go down under him but the former Everton manager found the right balance just when it mattered and, in the end, West Ham comfortably stayed up.

It was interesting to see the turn around and form from the Hammers, and one could even go as far as saying that the feel good factor around a Moyes managed side has not been this good since his days managing Everton a decade ago.

At that time Moyes was seen as a special manager mostly because he kept regularly getting Everton into the top 6 in the league despite a small transfer budget every summer. He impressed so much that he convinced Sir Alex Ferguson that he would be the man to eventually take him over at Manchester United. The rest is history of course and after spells at United and Real Sociedad Moyes reputation was in tatters.

Many thought that getting Moyes back in at West Ham made no sense and to be fair for the majority of his time at the club in his 2nd term they would have been right. Despite West Ham picking up form and collecting 12 points in their last month which saved them from possible relegation we have to look at the hard facts.

It would be easy for any West Ham fan to get carried away- and some even hailed Moyes after the club was saved from relegation this season. The problem is is that Moyes was a contributing factor in the first place to how low the club had fallen last season. The hard facts tell us that Moyes winning percentage this season is 28%, that’s actually lower than when he was sacked the first time around.

From the 21 games he managed this season he won just 6 games, but of course those wins were the ones that mattered towards the end of the season. He did well and there was a feeling of togetherness- us v them, the fight was on and victory was had. One just wonders in the cold winter months coming up if the games played after the restart were just papering over the cracks?

Moyes’ West Ham earned 23 points in those 21 games, which if averaged out would mean that over a full season he was heading for around 36 points. That’s edgy stuff and by no means guarantees safety in any way shape or form.

Having said that if West Ham begin the season the way they ended it, they will be fine and even could challenge for a top 10 place. But one has to wonder how much of that run in was based on a comeback of hope and not skill, quality and a consistency that is needed to make an impact over the course of a season?

So far the Hammers much like other Premier League clubs have been quiet in the transfer market. Although they have made Tomas Soucek a permanent signing after he impressed last season. He has been snapped up for £15m which is a real bargain in today’s game.

Perhaps the Hammers biggest battle before the new season kicks off is keeping Declan Rice who is on the radar of a few clubs. If history tells us anything it is that West Ham have an uncanny ability to have world class talent in their ranks who are always sold when clubs come knocking.

The Hammers kick off the new season at home to Newcastle and then they are away to Arsenal before returning home to play Wolves. A good start will be needed to keep any confidence that has lingered over from the summer. If not this could end up being a long hard season for the Hammers. One way or another this season should reveal if Moyes has been able to find the magic once again or if those few weeks in the summer were just a flash in the pan.

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Tottenham beat London rivals West Ham but VAR grabs all of the headlines once again

For Jose Mourinho it was relief when the brilliant Harry Kane sealed victory over London rivals West Ham to make it 2-0 on the night near the end of the game. Three points had been achieved, and him and the rest of the team could breathe once more. But threatening to overshadow the game once more was VAR which affected one goal and could have done so with another.

Heung-Min Son for example had thought he had scored the opening goal, and a good one it looked too before replays showed that his toe nail was offside. At the end of the day VAR did its job, but again common sense and VAR do not go hand in hand. Offside surely should only be punished if a player is clearly offside and looking for an advantage. In this case like literally hundreds before it Son was not looking for an advantage, and he was offside due to luck, in his case bad luck.

That incident could have spelled disaster for Tottenham who really needed the win given that Chelsea had gone 9 points clear of them, and Mourinho wants a Champions League finish.

With Tottenham looking like the better side, West Ham still remained a danger with Pablo Fornals given a glorious chance to put the Hammers in front but he miss kicked the ball.

Tottenham eventually opened the scoring but it was an own goal by the Hammers Tomas Soucek just after the hour that provided it. It was unfortunate for the club but perhaps the goal was coming. However after the game West Ham manager David Moyes was enraged as he said replays could show Tottenham player Davison Sanchez had hand balled the cross. He demanded why VAR did not come into play, and by the laws that goal should not have counted. However the incident is not very clear as the ball moves so fast. The end result it looks like sour grapes from Moyes. However if VAR want to give Son’s goal offside, maybe Moyes has a point that it should have stopped the game and looked at the incident.

That goal took the stuffing out of West Ham and then Tottenham went onto win the game. It was an important win and keeps the club in the mix for a European finish.

As for West Ham they are hanging onto survival and are only in 17th place by virtue of goal difference. West Ham’s next game will be against Chelsea whilst Tottenham will play Sheffield United.

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Another defeat for West Ham hammers home appointment of David Moyes was poor

Football is here once again, but the misery continues for West Ham.

The Hammers put in a toothless display as they were beaten at home against Wolves 2-0. In truth the game was not flowing enough, perhaps the late warm Saturday afternoon played its part. However it was telling that Wolves were able to find another level to get the win and 3 glorious points.

For West Ham attentions had to quickly turn to Saturday evenings game between Bournemouth and Crystal Palace. The hammers needed Palace to win given that Bournemouth could have dumped them into the relegation zone. As it turned out Eddie Howe’s side lost 2-0. Good news for West Ham.

How much does it say about the club though when they have to look around them and rely on other results? That is a quick fix which in the long run never works out, and as it is West Ham look amongst the favourites to be relegated this season.

Currently the club are in 17th place with 27 points and only goal difference is keeping them from being in the bottom three.

Attention at this time is swung in the direction of David Moyes, a manager who already failed at the club once. In some bizarre twist of fate when the Hammers searched for a new manager they turned once again to the Scotsman. The problem with Moyes is that he hasn’t had his charge or for a better word mojo in a decade when he was manager of Everton. Though the Mersey side team won nothing under him at least they challenged for a European place, even making it as far as the Champions League qualifiers in 2005.

Since then Moyes has had nightmare spells at Manchester United and even Real Sociedad. One could argue that Moyes and West Ham could have been the perfect fit, that would have worked had he not been in charge once before.

The statistics much like the game against Wolves are damning for Moyes. From the 13 games he has managed in his second stint as West Ham manager he has lost 8 of them and currently has a win rate of just 23%. That is 6% lower than his first time in charge of the club.

As for the game West Ham never looked like being a major threat to Wolves and had just 2 shots on target the whole game.

West Ham’s next match is against London rivals Tottenham away on Tuesday. Whilst they have surprised their opponents on a few occasions Tottenham clearly have the stronger squad, and it could be just a matter of time before West Ham see themselves in the bottom three.

The Irons will welcome back striker Sebastien Haller for that game, and Moyes will be hoping that the Frenchman can make the difference in midweek. He may have to as the pressure even without the fans at games is really mounting for the manager.

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Poor results, protests to be held and a fan banned- Are West Ham in meltdown?

In football you have two stories: one is on the pitch and one is off it. This season West Ham have had negative stories on and off it.

It was clear that after a decent first season in charge Manuel Pellegrini had lost focus and the Chilean was soon sacked. But the club owners brought in David Moyes, he who was West Ham manager before Pellegrini, he who gave a winning return of just 29% and he who was deemed no good and was sacked in favour of Pellegrini. Talk about taking steps backwards.

Results under Moyes have been poor, bar his first game when the club beat Bournemouth 4-0, they also beat Gillingham in the FA Cup. Since then they have lost numerous games, the highlight being a 4-1 beating against Leicester and they have been knocked out of the FA Cup. Under Pellegrini the side were poor but were above the relegation zone, now they are in it and 18th what does that make Moyes’ status?

Fans have not been happy and this week there was a controversial incident which saw a long standing season ticket holder banned from home and away games this season. He had volunteered to be a flag bearer on the touchline, but there seemed something else behind his reasoning. That was to show the TV cameras his t shirt which read GSB out. That stands for club owners David Sullivan and David Gold and the B is a reference to Karen Brady who has also presided over the club. The board were not happy, wrote the fan a letter and now he is banned for the season.

It was a one man protest but much of the fans it seems are with him, and they want Sullivan and Gold to sell the club. It seems understandable too as so many mistakes in the transfer and recruitment of a manager have been made. From the outside at least there does seem to be a lack of ambition. There have already been silent protests and it is getting worse and worse and will do.

There is a plan to release black balloons when the club take on Liverpool at Anfield and in their next game at home against Southampton there will be even more protests. The pressure will be on Sullivan and Gold, after all who would want to stay and own a club where the fans don’t want or like you? Mike Ashley at Newcastle could sympathise with this but the anger of the West Ham fans seems more deeper and genuine.

At the root of the anger, and perhaps this isn’t every fan, but it is the stadium move. Did any long standing fan really want to move from the Boleyn Ground. If so they would have wanted a modern stadium but without the gaps to the pitch. Many fans have said there is no atmosphere at the stadium any more and in fact no home advantage as clubs like coming to play at the Olympic Stadium. Others have said that sound does not travel well and so when Hammers fans sing and try to cheer on their team it gets taken away.

Right now it feels as if West Ham need a new beginning and that is a damning verdict given that the stadium was supposed to be that.

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West Ham look likely for relegation after implosion against Brighton

Beating Brighton was the bear minimum requirement for West Ham and for the majority of their game on Saturday it looked like David Moyes team were cruising. But there would be a deadly sting in the tail.

Issa Diop opened the scoring after half an hour much to the relief of Hammer fans, when Robert Snodgrass made it 2-0 just before half time, for many that was game over. It has been proven time and again scoring just before the break can kill and change the opposition’s mindset. All looked well.

But two minutes after the break Brighton pressure led to an own goal scored by Angelo Ogbonna. The Hammers now could slowly collapse under their own pressure or march on. Ten minutes later the game looked wrapped up and it was Snodgrass again, emerging as the unlikely hero to make it 3-1 to the home side. With fifteen minutes remaining the fans were singing despite Brighton creating wave after wave of attacks, 3-1 just looked too good to be overhauled. But then again this is West Ham a club who have repeatedly blown decent leads in the past.

Pascal Grob is his name but it was Pascal ‘Grab’ on Saturday, when he scored for the away side to make it 3-2 and now there was a belief that 3-3 seemed more likely than a Snodgrass hat trick. West Ham thought they had 3 points and were now not blowing bubbles, but blowing this match. Glenn Murray, the type of striker any Italian team would love in their squad, one that isn’t consistent but will get the goal you need scored to make it 3-3 and the London Stadium turned into the biggest gob smack you could ever want to witness. VAR played out yet again, what is a game without it? Because Brighton’s goal had to be delayed and debated on for a possible hand ball, VAR decided against it and Brighton got their goal which only rubbed the salt into the wounds for the home side.

Somehow West Ham had blown it again- they hadn’t lost but being 3-1 up at home with 15 minutes left and finishing 3-3 certainly felt like it. Suddenly you were looking at a team who could well be playing in the Championship next season. The draw confirmed West Ham’s slip into the bottom three, in 18th place. Though they are just 2 wins from 14th and 3 wins from 10th.

West Ham have lost 13 games and manager David Moyes comments when he joined the club of ”I win” have certainly come back to haunt him. In the league his record reads like this: Played 6, won 1, drawn 2 and lost 3.

There is talk of relegation even though the tables show the teams in the bottom half being so close for West Ham because of their upcoming fixtures. This month will see the Hammers having to play Manchester City and Liverpool- both away games. They end the month at home to Southampton. Arsenal and Tottenham follow in March and there is a real chance that West Ham could be relegated with such tough fixtures ahead.

The Brighton game was being highlighted by fans as the one match they had to win to give them some breathing space at least, but if form continues like it has this season without any improvement then they are looking to finish the season with about 36 points, that total may not be good enough to stay up.

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