West Ham co-chairman David Gold believes the club has the players, manager and determination to avoid being dragged into a relegation battle. Speaking exclusively to Blowing Bubbles, he has also urged the club’s “fantastic” supporters to continue to rally behind the players and manager Sam Allardyce to help the Hammers stay clear of danger
“Everyone bemoans their luck every now and again but we’ve been really unlucky this season,” Mr Gold said. “In the game against Crystal Palace we had a legitimate goal disallowed and against Hull we had a penalty given against us which I didn’t think was a penalty and we had a penalty claim which wasn’t given. “We could have got at least a point from both of those games had those decisions gone our way and then it’s a different league. These are the decisions I vividly remember but there have been others as well this season.
“But rest assured we are trying everything we can to get ourselves out of this situation. We are trying to get Andy Carroll back as quickly as we can too. “We know it’s quite clear that if he gets injured again it really does leave a big hole and that we do need to bring someone in to cover him because he is going to get the odd knock. We also know that we cannot continue for the rest of the season in the situation we are currently in.
“That is not to say Maiga can’t turn things around because he has unfortunate not to score and he is getting in the positions to score. If he had taken a few of the chances he has had then we would probably have a few more points on the board and wouldn’t be so stressed with where we are the moment.” Mr Gold said he felt Stewart Downing had been West Ham’s best player so far this season, describing as some of his performances as “exceptional”
He continued: “We have got arguably our top four players out injured or suspended at the moment which is tough for us. “That is, of course, taking nothing away from Diame or Ravel Morrison who have played really well this season. Morrison in particular has been a revelation for us and has been like a new signing.
“Once we start putting out our best side every week, surely that will make the difference? We will continue to work hard but we really need to the fans to stay on board because we have all got to pull in the same direction. We’ve also got Vaz Te who is also not far away from returning so this situation we found ourselves in can all change. “We must, however, bring in a striker. We will try to buy someone or get someone on loan if necessary.
“We spent a huge amount of money on two top players in the summer in Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing and we can’t keep spending that sort of money, we have got to be realistic. In an ideal world we need a free transfer or a loan with the view of signing the striker in the summer. If we have to, we will have to do a deal in such a way that’s affordable to us. We will not leave any stone unturned.” He added: “When you are in the bottom three and have low morale, then it is tough to drag yourself out of the relegation zone but this is not our club. We have got plenty of things going for us.
“The fans are still with us, the management has a great relationship with the players and the manager has a great relationship with the chairmen. “We are suffering at the moment but we are all still optimistic because we have the players, we have the manager and we have the determination to play ourselves out of trouble.”
There has been quite a bit of hostility towards Mr Gold on Twitter following some of West Ham’s poor showings recently, which the cochairman admitted comes with his role at the club even though some of the messages were quite hurtful. “At the moment I am still reading most of them,” he said. “I don’t manage to read them all because there are so many but whenever I can I will spend an hour reading them and sending replies. There are some people who I hold in high regard and respond to their questions and tweets but there are others who are just spiteful .
I’m also not responding to as many as I normally would at the moment because it’s a time of reflection for us and I don’t want to get into confrontation with fans or people who are just looking for a fight.” Asked what plans, if any, there are for a closing ceremony at the Boleyn Ground and an opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, Mr Gold continued: “There are no plans for any ceremonies at the Boleyn Ground or at the Olympic Stadium at the moment
“All our efforts at the moment are dealing with the situation we find ourselves in. All I can say about this is it will be emotional to say goodbye to the Boleyn Ground because I’ve got brilliant memories of games I’ve seen there. Leaving Upton Park and playing our first game at the Olympic Stadium will also represent a new era at our great club.”
He added: “I hope all our fans and your readers have had a happy and healthy Christmas. “I know it’s difficult and tough at the moment for all of us but I would urge everyone to remain resolute and stick behind the team and the manager.”