What will 2017 bring for West Ham as our fresh start fades?

The ground may have changed but many of the Irons problems remain

The result against Tottenham had a somewhat inevitability about it, didn’t it?

Like the 2-2 draw away under Big Sam, the 1-0 defeat on the fi rst day of the season in 2014, and Gareth Bale’s winner in another 3-2 thriller, we always lose our minds in the dying minutes. Th at’s not even mentioning the 4-3 defeat under Alan Curbishley. Th at was the only time I left a game early at the Boleyn. I’m as much a loyal fan as the next one, but that was just too much.

Yet it’s not that many of us complain. It’s same old West Ham, isn’t it? Just the usual. Never mind, we’re too good to go down. We’ll get on a good run and everything will be fine. Yeah, we have some tough games, but we played well against Spurs, so all will come out all right in the end. As long as “the end” doesn’t refer to injury time.

There is a sense of deja vu surrounding all of this. One of acceptance of West Ham’s plight, as well as a belief that we’re too strong for the drop. It is the small talk of old, the West Ham way of talking. Yet if last season’s goal was simply staying up, to ensure we entered the London Stadium in the Premier League, one can’t help but feel we got carried away.

We are still looking up rather than down, and focusing on how we could still be in the top ten aft er a few wins. As if a few wins are so simple to come by. Yes, if last season’s goal was simply staying up, then now it is even more important to follow that creed. Th ere seems to be a denial about this, as if the Bilic era was meant to be one of unparalleled success and that was how it would continue.

Alas, we all expected this season to be a new leaf, a new start, but we are falling back on ‘it’s the same old West Ham’. Not the same environs, but the same football. Of course, it is silly of me to criticise so early on in the season and so early on in the stadium move. But why not hold this team and Bilic to a high bar? When you promise so much from a new stadium and a new start, is it not time for us to stop thinking of the “same old West Ham” but for more of a consistent team?

We were told we were not meant to lose victories so late in the day, we were told we were giant killers. We keep saying this, and we keep saying we will find form, but when? We narrowly defeated Sunderland, and now they’re on the rise while we continue to flounder. Where next for West Ham? Th e same old or something different for a change?

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