We’re safe, but do we want West Ham relegated?

boleyn


Bolton 35 -25 -35
Wigan 35 -33 -35
Wolves 35 -23 34
West Ham 35 -19 31
Hull 35 -40 28
Burnley 35 -37 27
DOWN Portsmouth 35 -33 15

Safe by April 17. It doesn’t have quite the same ring as Safe by Christmas, which we were more or less able to say during those two remarkable seasons under Peter Reid, finishing seventh each time before the familiar rot set in.

But for Sunderland fans accustomed to end-of-season trauma of one kind or another, it was still a relief to know we could complete the run-in without the least worry about how things would end up as we leave Molineux on May 9.

We can naturally hope Steve Bruce and his squad will make up for the wretched time we endured during the winless run from November to March. Nine points from the last three games would be delicious, seven pretty tasty and even six a decent appetiser for what we hope will be significantly better things next season.

But we are all human and naturally have preferences about how we want the next three weekends to go for others. Who do we want to see go down with poor old Pompey?

After last night’s defeat for Hull City at home to Aston Villa, the most obvious conclusion to be drawn from the table and the list of remaining fixtures (see below) is that the present bottom three will also be the bottom three on the evening of May 9.

But the appearance of names like Chelsea, Spurs, Manchester City and Liverpool in the list of opponents shows that the potential for further twists is strong. Not to mention Wigan having to play two other relegation contenders, West Ham and Hull, and our own role as an ingredient in the mix with games at Hull and Wolves.

Quite a few Sunderland fans have expressed the hope that Hull would survive; many would have preferred Burnley, too, to stay up though their chances now look the most slender of all. That suggests West Ham as our drop candidates of choice, a sad reflection of the hint of antipathy that has crept into Mackem-Hammers relations (you need only read some of the comments that appeared here, and at the West Ham site Knees Up Mother Brown, after the Iluga-Jones incident and our recent 1-0 defeat at the Boleyn).

Since I have posed the questions, I cannot allow myself a cosy position on the fence.

So I will state that I very much want Wolverhampton Wanderers to stay up, because I have so much time for both Mick McCarthy and Jody Craddock; I would be less sorry to see the Hammers drop a division, but admit to some lingering affection for them as London’s most convincing claimants to “proper club” status. Also, West Ham’s tradition, understandably diminished of late, is of trying to play attractive football. And I need to keep in with Sam Haseltine at footballunited.com and his blood is pure claret and blue!

That leaves Burnley, who I think are doomed, and those other wanderers, Bolton, whose ritualistic appearance in the relegation zone each season probably merits its logical result.

That said, I also want Sunderland to beat Hull on Saturday, and that would have the unintended side effect of making their survival seem improbable, indeed impossible if West Ham beat Wigan.

Salut! Sunderland would be interested to hear readers’ views on the issues that will be decided at the wrong end of the table once the following games have been played:

* BOLTON Portsmouth (H), Tottenham (A), Birmingham (H)

* WIGAN West Ham (A), Hull City (H), Chelsea (A)

* WOLVES:Blackburn (H), Portsmouth (A), Sunderland (H)

* WEST HAM Wigan (H), Fulham (A), Man City (H)

* HULL Sunderland (H), Wigan (A), Liverpool (H)

* BURNLEY Liverpool (H), Birmingham (A), Tottenham (H)

Colin Randall


* photo of the outside of the Boleyn, as most Hammers insist we should call Upton Park, courtesy of “tiredoflondon”, whose Flickr images can be checked out by clicking here


* NB: a recent deluge of spam means comments from people who have not been this way and posted before will have to await moderation. Sorry.

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32 thoughts on “We’re safe, but do we want West Ham relegated?”

  1. and the suporters get there loyalty name from these such seasons we all talk about arsenal only getting 18000 a game when they were in trouble back in the 80s or even the 70s,
    i think that comment was taken out of context to say how loyal us fans are feed them like mushrooms so to speak but did we all not lap it up about the loyalty thing and we still do programming frrom birth were we were all suposed to work in the east end factories
    kind regards
    tony

  2. I can’t believe I am hearing people defend Cearns Family. This same family used to say and I quote “it is good business for us to get relegated because our attendences are better during a promotion season”. The fact is we gave never had a great owner, someone like Jack Walker at Blackburn is what ever club needs.

    As for those comments about our academy players. Hines has been injured most of the season and still scored the winner against Aston Villa. Stanislas has looked one of our only midfielders who can actually score a goal and Has hardly featured. Tomkins has been forced to play when he should of been learning off Collins and upson this season. all 3 have great potential…. As for sears I think he is not cut out for it……he’s too lightweight.

    Yes we have some foreigners but not that many you mentioned ever play in the same team.

    A big mistake in January was buying all of those strikers and not getting a defender. Sullivan said “ther is an imbalance at the club with too many midfielders” but he should of bought a defender end of

  3. fair point billericay dickie
    i spent my last penny on west ham back in 1998,
    see west ham with my own eyes in 75 and 81 winning that lovely cup and aint seen a decent chairman at west ham since
    before the petchy era you know the one that took all the money to watford, i thinks cairns if thats how you spell it was the last one, theres your problem i dont like the spivs in charge they need to be selling second hand motors but i dont think we need to be relegated because no way will them 2 earn anything out of west ham not with the club 55 million in debt not the 110 them 2 spout out because if they paid 55 million for half of west ham that 55 million will be given to the creditors
    we suck because of those stupid chairman that have driven west ham into the brown excuse the pun these 2 have no chance of that and they know it so i realy think they are doing it for west ham not for the money not saying they will not make money in the long run
    sorry about the judas comment
    kind regards
    tony
    ps west ham will beat wigan on saturday or fulham the week after

  4. billericay dickie
    i think if you read the papers you will know sullivan got paid out for the lies that they told because people like you believe everything they say
    up the hammers

    ps go and support villa with the judas reo coker
    kind regards
    tony

    Tony
    Sullivan telling Lies? I didn’t have to believe him, I know dross when I see it and believe me I have seen enough of it this season.
    Perhaps you should go and see for yourself once in a while. Or perhaps, judging by your reaction you contribute to the dross by being on the pitch every week?
    If so, can I have my £1085 back I have spent on season tickets and away games this season please? (you can pretend you’ve spent it on a new diamond ear stud)

  5. billericay dickie
    i think if you read the papers you will know sullivan got paid out for the lies that they told because people like you believe everything they say
    up the hammers

    ps go and support villa with the judas reo coker
    kind regards
    tony

    Tony
    Sullivan telling Lies? I didn’t have to believe him, I know dross when I see it and believe me I have seen enough of it this season.
    Perhaps you should go and see for yourself once in a while. Or perhaps, judging by your reaction you contribute to the dross by being on the pitch every week?
    If so, can I have my £1085 back I have spent on season tickets and away games this season please? (you can pretend you’ve spent it on a new diamond ear
    stud)

  6. “I am not sure i entirely agree with the last comment…..the spine of our team is very much English with the likes of Green, Parker, Upson. Noble, Cole and we do have some very good young players from the academy through with the likes of Tomkins, Stanislas, Hines”
    Justin said.

    That’s my point Justin. Green, Parker, Upson and Cole were not products of the academy. Tomkins rating seems to have dropped considerably (and what has happened to Sears?).

    If the rest of them such as Hines and Stanislas etc were as good as you think they are then you wouldn’t be scrapping against relegation.

    They guys I was referring to were the likes of Ilunga, Faubert, Franco, Ilan, Mido, Diamanti, Daprela etc.

  7. I am a West Ham fan living in East Boldon and do have a very soft spot for Sunderland. I have never heard a Hammers fan slate the Cats in person, the media hype is something different… they have to sell their papers now don’t they and we all know how misquoted people are. Good look to SAFC next season (although Rob my next door neighbour – I won’t be letting up on the Hammers V Cats matchdays and I’ll still be posting you little reminders of Claret and Blue) TX

  8. I am not sure i entirely agree with the last comment…..the spine of our team is very much English with the likes of Green, Parker, Upson. Noble, Cole and we do have some very good young players from the academy through with the likes of Tomkins, Stanislas, Hines and let’s not forget how many players are in the current England squad who came from our academy recently: Joe Cole, Carrick, Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, Terry, Johnson, Defoe…….. What makes us angry is we should never of sold these players. One thing I like about Sunderland is they have a British team excluding melbranque and jones and I think like Stoke this is the way forward

  9. I don’t think that the antipathy towards WH if you can call it that is aimed at the supporters. I couldn’t care less about the Tevez affair because you were paying his wages. It’s more to do with the fact that the character that made WH what it is has gone. The academy isn’t really doing what it used to (Mark Noble aside). You’ve ended up with a load of interchangeable Franco-Africans, Italians and Mexicans who sound like they should be Italians. Sad fact is, that none of them are much good.

    In some ways the “modern” West Ham is a microcosm of the PL generally. You just aren’t what you were, and that’s the pity. It’s not antipathy really just disappointment, I feel.

    I’ve always thought that your fans were very much like us in so many ways. The team you have right now is probably bad enough to warrant relegation, but you won;t go down. Did you see Hull last night? You could be worse if you ever got your old boy Dowie back! 🙂

  10. We have been dreadful this season, trust me, we deserve to go down…but if you could do us a favour this weekend it would be appreciated!
    Surely you would rather have clubs like ourselves in the premier league than your hulls, blackburns, wigans, stokes etc etc…..

    By the way thanks for the £8m for anton!!

  11. billericay dickie
    i think if you read the papers you will know sullivan got paid out for the lies that they told because people like you believe everything they say
    up the hammers

    ps go and support villa with the judas reo coker
    kind regards
    tony

  12. Gary: great to read your tale of the fan running after you to give you back the camera. Also good to see so many comments from people on both sides who reject the idea of antipathy (which i mentioned only in passing, following several comments – not abuse – seen at respectable sites/forums). As my piece stated, I am fairly sure WHU will stay up and look forward to two more games next season.

  13. I’m surprised with this article, seems to have no real basis on fact other than some flippant article or comment taken from a forum. Personally I know what forums are like and wouldn’t make a judgement based upon one.

    Personally, last time I went to the SOL I took my family into a local boozer near the stadium. After a bit of a “Babycham” moment when everyone turned around and stared, we had a cracking afternoon. We left for the ground about 1445 and I got chased down the road by a Sunderland fan who I’d been chatting to. He gave me my new £400 camera which I’d left behind in the bar.

    This was the game when YOU were struggling against relegation and you got a winner right at the death. Though I hate losing, I couldn’t feel too bad about it, I’d developed a soft-spot for Sunderland.

    Compare that to the pissed-up Hull mob who came down to Upton Park, gave it large round the back where the families and pensioners sit, terrifying some of the young kids. Why they didn’t go round to Green Street if they wanted trouble, I can’t think.

    So to me Sunderland, like West Ham, are a proper club with real fans coupled with manners and a football heritage. Hull on the other hand are a rugby town with fans who think it’s a great idea to scare small children and pensioners.

    From what I saw and heard at the SOL, I’d be surprised if many Sunderland fans would choose Hull over West Ham, at least I hope they wouldn’t.

    Gary

  14. Let’s nip this argument in the bud. Any bad feeling from Hammers fans is actually aimed solely at Steve Bruce who publicly announced a few years back that he’d be delighted if we went down.

  15. Every Sunderland fan I’ve ever spoken to has always had a good word about West Ham. I’d echo much of what’s been said above and add that Sunderland FC, and their fans, are a club I feel an affinity with. Newcastle on the other hand…….

  16. West Ham currently have a squad of over rated, over paid, under fit mercenaries. When Sullivan went public with his opinions a couple of weeks ago, they didn’t like it. That’s because they live in a protective bubble where they only listen to the opinions of their peers, coaches, manager and agents who consistenlty give them a pat on the back regardless of their attitude and performance. Sullivan was the first person with authority to tell a few home truths and it hurt them long enough to beat you lot. In a perverse way I’m almost hoping we go down so as to clear all the dead wood and start to rebuild. Staying up is only papering over the cracks. Good luck with your mob though. Always had time for you Mackems.

  17. Pop Robson. – Er I have been supporting West Ham since I was a nipper in the seventies, born and in Barking/East Ham and I like to think I AM a real football fans thanks very much!

    Perhaps my comment sounded harsh and was mis-interpreted. Of course Sunderland come up in conversation. What I mean’t was that we do not have a particular rivalry with them, and bear them no ill-will.

  18. I think relations with Sunderland have always been positive and they still are today. We both have similar ambitions, we don’t expect to win a trophy, but we probably have some of the best away support in the Premiership and one of the most loyal fan bases. Unlike Newcastle and Tottenham – Sunderland and West Ham have real fans who do not have delusions of grandure.

    I hope you beat Hull and we deserve a bit of luck because we got relegated a few years back with a record 43 points which would probably put us midway through the table at the end of this season.

  19. I am also a West Ham fan and have to say the same point about all the sunderland fans at the Boleyn this season.

    Had a few beers in the pub with the away support and a chat on the way out back and everyone was top notch with no west ham issues and just really loved there football.

    Shame to see some desires for us to go down but if we stay up i’ll definately be at the stadium of light next season for a good weekend.

  20. Sobs hits nail on head. Sunderland fans usually say just that – if work had taken them to London/did take them, WHU are the team they’d most likely have chosen to watch regularly.

    Tom Hammer/Pop Robson’s Shiner strike a chord, too. No need to get lovey-dovey but also no reason to hate and much to regard as a common football tradition.

    And Rob (not Lee, the other one above): read what I said again and you’ll see I was making precisely your point on the Boleyn?Upton Park thing.

  21. well, I am a West ham fan. I obviously want us to stay up. We are awful though. I actually think it is the worst West ham side ever and i have seen some bad ones!
    Hopefully you will beat Hull.
    On to this Mackem-Hammers issue with the supporters I have to say I am very suprised there seems to be an issue. Having gone to the game the other week v Sunderland, me and my pals were walking back to East ham with a load of Sunderland fans (going to get the coach etc), and we had a great chat with them and a laugh. I think Sunderland are fantastic supporters, brillaint away fans. The atmosphere the other week was fantastic (we were loud as well that day) but everytime I go to watch us play Sunderland it is fantastic. So, I personally have got a lot of time for Sunderland and their supporters. Fantastic.

  22. of the clubs in London, West Ham were the one I’d have gone to watch if the situation had arisen, and the ones I prefer to come out on top of London derbies. Fulham have recentlyl joined them, but the mismanagement of the off-filed side of things has soured my opinion of them. That’s nowt to do with the fans, though, and any feelings about them getting relegated would be along the lines of “that’ll teach the directors/owners/etc. to do things properly”

  23. I don’t hate West Ham by any means but there’s no reason to love or even like them, either. They’re a totally unbalanced side and Zola clearly has no idea what to do with them any more. A descent into the lower reaches might be what’s needed to wake the club up. Place your bets now on who next season’s manager will be — Mclaren, Grant, Jol? Pardew, perhaps?

  24. Devo’s barnet; I don’t think Sunderland fans hate us at all. I also think you’re wrong that Sunderland are not mentioned in conversation. Maybe you’re not a real football supporter but just fanatical about all thins WHU.

    It’s sad that relations between the two sets of fans have deterioated somewhat since the late 70’s/80’s as we have a lot in common; working class roots, traditional club, great fan base etc

    Anyway good luck against Hull. If we both do the business this weekend then us WHU fans can breathe a huge sigh of relief and forget all about the negatives that have plagued us this season.

    Cheers!

  25. I think it’s touching that fellow Hammers fans have come on here to clear their name! It’s true, we hold no ill feeling towards you. You have have a good chairman, sound investment, decent managers and the ability to change your squad around keeping things fresh. Isn’t that just what we want? Difference is, is that we’ve been run by clowns and had our name drag through the dirt by the media (believe me it gets tiresome). It’s like a country doing something stupid. Just because they do it, doesn’t means the population agrees. Anyway, we hope you finish the season strongly and that we can get on with our own things to best of our ability (Stranger things have happened). And no, we don’t hate Sunderland!

  26. We (WHU) do get a lot of media attention and I hate it. I hate the way it turns people against us and I hate the way pundits either slag us off or go on about this mythical attractive football (I’ve not seen it for a while).

    We deserve to go down, but if you could find it in your heart of hearts, please give Hull a seeing to.

    And FWIW, Sunderland are probably one of the only teams in the PL I don’t hate. I can’t say I have any affection for you lot (altough I would rather see you do well than Newcastle) but nor do I have antipathy.

  27. In fairness, West Ham receive intense media attention because behind the scenes we’ve got more plot turns than an episode of Hollyoaks and Eastenders on acid.

    Yes we’ve been poor, we’re not exactly denying that. We don’t exactly get positive media hype? Anyway, if you could scrap a win against a resurgent Wigan that’d be great.

    Many thanks,

    (and most Hammers wont insist you call it Upton Park, it’s The Boleyn Ground).

  28. I don’t really understand why you Sunderland lot hate West Ham so much, when most West Ham fans I know never mention Sunderland at all in conversation, let alone as a team to be hated. Contrary to what you say there has been a media smear campaign against West Ham since the Tevez affair and it seems a lot of people from the north believe every word of it. We’ve had some idiots running the club over the last few years but the fans are some of the best people you’ll find anywhere and that’s what matters most imo.

  29. Ignoring the bitter fans.
    We want to finish as high as possible. feelings for other teams cannot get in the way of our success surely?
    As much as i like Burnley Westham etc all the teams at the bottom are there for a reason. We will just have to wait and see who wants to fight the most for survival.

  30. In answer to the article question – a resounding YES!!!

    The media hype surrounding West Ham has been stupid and they have been poor for a while now. For some reason they always get more coverage than us even though this season they have been worse. Would loike to see them relegated but also want to see us in the top half so hope hull win their last 2 and West Ham lose all of the rest of their games – is that fair enough!!!

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