Ladies and gentlemen, West Ham have left the building.
After 112 years of mud, sweat, and cheers, on Tuesday, May 10, the final final whistle sounded at the Boleyn Ground – and it could not have been any more dramatic. West Ham’s thrilling 3-2 victory over Manchester United was a perfect encapsulation of the mythical West Ham way, which other teams are so bored of hearing about; play superbly, fail to take advantage, pay the price, find yourselves in a hole… but this time, dig yourselves out.
Of course it is impossible to talk about matters inside the ground without mentioning the pre-match nonsense outside – inexcusable, unjustifiable, shameful, but also hardly unpredictable. In years gone by, the Boleyn was one of football’s most intimidating destinations, so it is no surprise that for some West Ham ‘fans’, the ground’s final game was also seen as an opportunity for one last tear-up on Green Street. Still – inexcusable, unjustifiable, shameful.
Fortunately, the atmosphere in the ground stayed the right side of raucous for a remarkable 90 minutes. Diafra Sakho’s inch-perfect placement into the bottom corner of David de Gea’s goal was the ideal start. Game on.
West Ham were all over the visitors early on, but when Andy Carroll wasted a glorious oneon-one and Dimitri Payet shot horribly wide from a good position, home fans began thinking this was how the team were going to sign off – with one of those performances they have become all-too used to over the years. Lo and behold, when the visitors woke up after the break, with crushing predictability Anthony