Before West Hams game against Everton on Saturday, when hundreds of home fans gathered to protest against the state of their club under the current owners, you could be forgiven for expecting that another afternoon of rage, rebellion and toxicity at the London Stadium.
Insteadthough, the mood was a more apt one of dejection and disinterest. Issa Diop put the home side ahead in the first half, Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalised shortly afterwards, and the rest of the game played out to an atmosphere that landed somewhere between misery and melancholy. If West Ham fans - whose protest marked a decade in the ownership of Davids Gold and Sullivan - are grieving the state of their club, then they are becoming dangerously close to reaching the acceptance stage.
They mustnt allow this to happen although they can hardly be blamed for having their enthusiasm whittled away by grim pursuit of season-on-season survival that seems to have become their clubs new MO. Thankfully theres an obvious way to put a stop to that. Whisper it, but could West Hams best hope lie in relegation?
Clinging on to Premier League status has not prevented them from becoming that most ominous type of club: one that turns good players bad. Sebastien Haller, Pablo Fornals, Joao Mario, Andre Ayew and Jose Fonte are just the most obvious examples from recent years of players whose evident talent seems to have been drained out of them upon joining West Ham.
There is a common denominator here. And as much as the owners might argue otherwise, the problem is not bad decisions made in isolation but a deep-seated culture of mediocrity that infects even the brightest talents. There have been successes, most notably Dimitri Payet and Marko Arnautovic. Yet they both responded to their own blossoming by seeking new employment and downing tools accordingly. That is hardly a trend that reflects well on the club, nor one that screams sustainable success.
From the outside looking in, West Ham doesnt just seem like a badly run club, but a club that has completely forgotten how to enjoy itself. Even interpreted in the most generous light, the recent re-hiring of David Moyes carries an unmistakable undertone of joyless pragmatism.
In this sense, the failed experiment that was Manuel Pellegrini elicits some sympathy, in that he was in many respects the right idea exotic, progressive, high-pedigree, risk-taking but with one inescapable pitfall: he has all the personality of a garden shed. And its personality, more than investment or footballing talent, that West Ham have so desperately lacked of late.
Go back as far as two decades, and West Hams roster of permanent managers Roeder, Pardew, Curbishley, Zola, Grant, Allardyce, Bilic, Moyes, Pellegrini, Moyes reads dangerously like a whos who of cheerless drones. That list of names would be far from ideal for any aspirational mid-ranking club, let alone one whose self-image contains a certain amount of thrill-seeking glamour.
Relegation would allow the club to escape the clutches of this means-to-an-end misery and invest fully in a manager who can be given the time and scope to build something from the bottom up. The he knows how to keep a club in the division argument would be mercifully redundant, opening up a whole new tranche of candidates who are distinguished by ambitious excellence rather than gritted-teeth survivalism: Paul Warne, Michael Flynn, Lee Johnson. And thats before you look abroad, as has worked so well for Norwich and Leeds (Marcelo Gallardo, anyone?). It would also afford them the vital luxury of being able to get this decision wrong without it being the cue for impending armageddon.
Broadcasting money lost out on by their disappearance from the top flight would be somewhat offset by the divisions famously generous parachute payments: 55% of equal-share broadcast revenue in the first year after going down, then 45%, then 20%. West Ham also have the added benefits of being based in London a draw for many high-pedigree players and of a stadium that brings in a matchday revenue of 27.1m (the typical figure for Championship clubs hovers between 5-10m, Leeds boasting the divisions highest with 17m).
Going down might be a bleak experience in the short-term, but beyond that it could be exactly the jolt of life West Ham need, not least because the ensuing campaign would be one they could spend looking upwards rather than nervously over their shoulders.
West Ham United: RIP 1895-2016 read one banner on Saturday. Its not survival that the club needs its revival.
While youre here, why not take advantage of our brilliant subscribers offer? Get the games greatest stories and best journalism direct to your door for only 10.25 every three months thats just 3.15 per issue! Save money with a Direct Debit today
QUIZCan you name the top three all-time goalscorers for every current Premier League club?
COMMENTIf Manchester United actually wanted a director of football, they would have one. So what's stopping them?
GUIDEPremier League live stream best VPN: how to watch every game from anywhere in the world
New features you'll love on FourFourTwo.com
See the article here:
- What To Make Of The Mysterious Melania Trump - Worldcrunch - July 21st, 2020
- 'The Office:' How the Jim-and-Dwight Rivalry Impacted the Actors' Offscreen Relationship - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - July 21st, 2020
- What Does Al-Qaeda Tell Us About The Base? - The Defense Post - July 21st, 2020
- The 12 Best Zombie Movies of All Time - Men's Health - July 8th, 2020
- Inside the luxury nuclear bunker protecting the mega-rich from the apocalypse - CNET - July 8th, 2020
- Leader of ultra-right militia The Three Percenters General BloodAgent predicts end of America by 2021 and warns of new civil war - RT - July 8th, 2020
- Coronavirus and the Culture Wars - PopMatters - July 8th, 2020
- The Rose | by Ben Lerner - The New York Review of Books - July 8th, 2020
- VICE - Armed Man Who Allegedly Stormed Justin Trudeau's Residence Appears to Have Posted QAnon Content - VICE - July 8th, 2020
- Military Veterans and the Boogaloo Bois Explained - Connecting Vets - June 20th, 2020
- Return to your roots: Gardening a great solution to cope with stress of pandemic - The Independent - May 24th, 2020
- Else Blangsted, Who Fled the Nazis and Found a Hollywood Ending, Dies at 99 - The New York Times - May 24th, 2020
- Inside ultra-luxurious disaster survival kits where super-rich can pay 4k for night vision goggles and posh - The Sun - May 24th, 2020
- Far More Valuable Than a Stockpile of Food and Money - Investment U - May 19th, 2020
- Eat this Now (Because You Have to): Terrible Homemade Bread - Kansas City Pitch - May 15th, 2020
- Survivor Is the Quintessential TV Show - The Ringer - May 15th, 2020
- Documentary shows life in the 'Biosphere' wasn't out of this world - Arlington Catholic Herald - May 15th, 2020
- I didn't think a pandemic would bring out the domestic goddess in me - Metro.co.uk - May 11th, 2020
- How to avoid the end times - The Japan Times - March 24th, 2020
- Is It as Impossible to Build Jerusalem as It is to Escape Babylon? (Part Two) - CounterPunch - February 27th, 2020
- Veteran Analyst Warns of XRP Crash to $0.20 as Price Stumbles - Ethereum World News - February 27th, 2020
- XRP Could Be on Verge of Explosive Breakout Higher, Taking It 100% Higher - Ethereum World News - February 27th, 2020
- XRP Just Flipped a Key Resistance Into Support: Why This is Bullish - Ethereum World News - February 27th, 2020
- Ripple Is On The Verge Of A New Rally According To Analysts - Somag News - February 27th, 2020
- Lost in Space Season 3 Releasing on Netflix and Dr. Smith Will Return - Honk News - January 25th, 2020
- When Is Lost In Space Season 3 Coming Out On Netflix And Dr. Smith Returning Possibilities - The Digital Wise - January 25th, 2020
- The Best And Worst Of WWE NXT 1/15/20: Survivalism - UPROXX - January 18th, 2020
- Bitcoin Indicator That Called Rally to $14000 Flashes Again - BTCNN - January 18th, 2020
- Bitcoin just cracked $8,500, and it means bulls are taking control - CryptoSlate - January 18th, 2020
- Ethereum Forms a Bearish Rejection Just Below a Key Resistance Level - Ethereum World News - January 18th, 2020
- The Explosion In This One Metric Is Bullish for Bitcoins Price - Ethereum World News - January 18th, 2020
- Why An Analyst Thinks XRP Price Has Further to Fall - Ethereum World News - January 18th, 2020
- Would a Virginia bill really ban dads from teaching sons how to use hunting rifles? - PolitiFact - December 18th, 2019
- Amazon's holiday gift to Orlando's sci-fi fans is a revitalized season of 'The Expanse' - Orlando Weekly - December 13th, 2019
- Market Experts Weigh in on the Next Major Mergers & Acquisitions in Media - Observer - November 21st, 2019
- A brief history of John Krasinski's transformation into a guy who absolutely loves the CIA - Business Insider - November 21st, 2019
- Richard Tobin of Brooklawn accused of conspiring to initimidate minorities - Courier Post - November 21st, 2019
- The Terminator Created a New Kind of Hero With Kyle Reese - Yahoo Entertainment - October 27th, 2019
- Bitcoin Might Head To The $6,000 Region In The Near-Term According to Wyckoff Logic - ZyCrypto - October 17th, 2019
- Low Tide Review: The Goonies Meets The Treasure of the Sierra Madre in Sharp Coming-of-Age Thriller - IndieWire - October 4th, 2019
- As the climate collapses, we can either stand together or perish alone - The Guardian - October 4th, 2019
- Gary K. Wolfe Reviews Trapped in the R.A.W., A Journal of My Experiences during the Great Invasion by Kaylee Bearovna by Kate Boyes - Locus Online - October 4th, 2019
- Oregon 'Hate Map' Reveals 11 Racist, Separatist Hate Groups In The State - Patch.com - August 18th, 2017
- Doomsday Desperation - Southern Poverty Law Center - August 18th, 2017
- 'American Made' Review: Tom Cruise Flies Between Comedy and Tension, Missing Both - TheWrap - August 18th, 2017
- North Korea: Nuclear War Fears Spur Sales of Preparedness Goods ... - Fortune - August 14th, 2017
- For Doomsday Preppers, the End of the World Is Good for Business - New York Times - August 13th, 2017
- Film Review: Good Time - Consequence of Sound (blog) - August 13th, 2017
- What I Learned From the Neo-Nazi in My Prison Book Club | The ... - The Marshall Project - August 11th, 2017
- Nine Inch Nails - Webster Hall, New York City - Gigs - Reviews ... - Soundblab - August 11th, 2017
- Film Review: The Glass Castle Fails on Almost Every Level - Splice Today - August 11th, 2017
- If North Korea targets Guam, how should the US respond? - Fox News - August 11th, 2017
- Naked - slantmagazine - August 10th, 2017
- Noir Thriller Wind River Examines An Ignored America - Willamette Week - August 10th, 2017
- Silicon Valley luminaries are busily preparing for when robots take ... - Mashable - August 10th, 2017
- Review: Nolan's 'Dunkirk' is as Riveting as it is Groundbreaking - First Showing (blog) - July 23rd, 2017
- Do you Have What it Takes to be a Christian Survivalist? - CBN News - July 19th, 2017
- Morning Star :: No growth but lots of opportunities | The People's Daily - Morning Star Online - July 19th, 2017
- 'War for the Planet of the Apes' Review: Finale of biblical proportions - Rappler - July 18th, 2017
- Queued Up: 'The Lego Batman Movie,' 'XX,' 'Logan,' and More - Aquarian Weekly - July 12th, 2017
- Film Review: War for the Planet of the Apes - Consequence of Sound (blog) - July 11th, 2017
- Review: Paranoia thriller It Comes At Night is impressively tense and ... - Norfolk Eastern Daily Press - July 8th, 2017
- Review: Paranoia thriller It Comes At Night is impressively tense and ineffably creepy - Norwich Evening News - July 8th, 2017
- DJ CherishTheLuv, Music Missionary - HuffPost - June 30th, 2017
- What it Means to Finish Pikes Peak + Results - Hot Rod Network - Hot Rod Network - June 29th, 2017
- 'It Comes at Night' a Spellbinding Tale of Family and Survival - Shepherd Express - June 29th, 2017
- Are you ready when disaster strikes? These Minnesota doomsday preppers are - Charleston Express - June 26th, 2017
- Are you ready when disaster strikes? These Minnesota doomsday preppers are - Arkansas News - June 25th, 2017
- Where billionaires are stockpiling land for the apocalypse: Map - The Real Deal Magazine - June 19th, 2017
- Map reveals where billionaires are stockpiling land that could be used in the apocalypse - Business Insider Nordic - June 17th, 2017
- Map reveals where billionaires are stockpiling land that could be used in the apocalypse - SFGate - June 15th, 2017
- Billionaires are stockpiling land that could be used in the apocalypse here's where they're going - The Advocate - June 15th, 2017
- Next "Far Cry" video game is set in Montana - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana - KRTV Great Falls News - June 11th, 2017
- Veteran teaches disaster preparation skills at Heights library - The Killeen Daily Herald - June 10th, 2017
- It Comes At Night stars on survivalism, the apocalypse - WDEF News 12 - June 9th, 2017
- Recently unveiled documents reveal anarchist strand festered at Evergreen for nearly a decade - The College Fix - June 9th, 2017
- Margaret Atwood on the utopias hiding inside her dystopias and why there is no the future - Vox - June 9th, 2017
- Humanity 2.0: The Unstoppability of Singularity - HuffPost - June 8th, 2017
- Upcoming "Far Cry" video game is set in Montana - KTVQ Billings News - June 6th, 2017
- Survivalist shares experience in Harker Heights - The Killeen Daily Herald - June 5th, 2017