Being a West Ham United fan has never, I repeat never, been an easy task in life. Relegation battles, shock cup exits and playing ineligible players are just a few of the ridiculous dramas we have witnessed over the years.
This year the move to London Stadium has made it all the more difficult as some legitimate issues with the new ground, combined with unrealistic expectations, have seen some of the most infighting amongst West Ham supporters in history. However, in January we saw two incidents that, on their own, were bad news but together may represent something of a turning point.
Firstly we had Mike Dean’s ridiculous decision to send off Sofiane Feghouli just 15 minutes into the game with Manchester United. It ruined a decent start from us and ultimately confirmed we would get zero points from the fixture.
The second incident was Dimitri Payet’s refusal to play for the club. Th e injustice of the first and the anger of the second had the impact of uniting the crowd and on both occasions, the United game and the Crystal Palace match aft er the Payet news broke, led to the best atmosphere we have seen at the new stadium to date. If this newfound unity continues we may have reason to thank Mike Dean and Dimitri Payet aft er all.