‘Our 2021 record breakers can achieve great things under Moyes’

The crowds returning to the stadiums was huge - I was going to go to as many games as logistically possible

Last year was a year like no other for us West Ham fans, both on and off the pitch. 

We had all the lockdowns and measures which were frustrating at the best of times but throw in the fact that we couldn’t attend West Ham games – most people’s mental escape avenue – then it was always going to be a tough ride. 

Throughout my 30-plus years of having a season ticket at West Ham, the really amazing seasons are few and far between, especially in the top flight. 

If they happen once, they don’t tend to happen for a good few years after. This was not the case of the year 2021, we finished the year where we left off in the last – playing exciting, attacking and most importantly successful football. 

The crowds returning to the stadiums was huge for me and I knew as soon as those fixtures were out, I was going to go to as many games as logistically possible with work and family commitments factored in.

So, I was there, at Newcastle, for the first game of the season. It felt like being a child again and going to your first ever game.

The excitement was unreal as we took the relatively short, given the distance, train ride to the very North East of England. 

Beers in hand and banter flowing it was good to be back. Newcastle’s early opener though gave us a real reality check but thankfully the boys continued the good form from the previous campaign and turned it round for the win. What a day that was.

There have been other great away days thrown into this season already. Everton and Watford away, I took my eldest child to both and again she kept up her impressive winning ratio of seeing West Ham win.

She’s been seven times and her only loss was a home battering by Man City in the first game of the season a couple of years back. 

I was there at Aston Villa too when we really did play them off the park. I have been to other non-European away games but I won’t mention those as the results were not as impressive. 

This season has seen us return to Europe and reach a stage that I and many others have never experienced before as a fan, we just rely on stories from the older generations on how special these occasions are. 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t make any of the away legs but was there for all the home games and a witness to the now standard light and fire show that accompanies these games. I will be there for the remaining European games, even if I cannot get a ticket. This is too good an opportunity to miss. 

What I love about the team of 2021 is that every player appears to be happy at the club and loves to play for the badge. We have a real positive team spirit and this makes the current crop a lot easier to relate to and support than previous mercenaries.

The management team seems to be the perfect one for the club. Led by David Moyes who has got his Everton mojo back and making us as hard to beat as they were at their best.

He has trusted partners like fellow Scot McKinlay. Two former players of ours that served us so well in Stuart Pearce and Kevin Nolan and highly rated coaches In Nevin and Valero – it seems the perfect mix for us. 

Another huge plus of 2021 is the fact that the famous academy has started to produce the goods again. 

During Moyes’ second spell at the club, I believe 12 academy graduates have made their debuts and that is so pleasing to hear. 

Even if half of those go on to have good careers for us that is absolutely huge and will save us a lot of money in that time too. 

One thing we are yet to see is the impact of the investment that another one of our Czech friends has made in the club. 

Daniel Kretinsky and his colleague Pavel Horsky now own 27 per cent of the shares in the club and are both very wealthy men. Let’s hope this wealth is shown in the transfer market that we are now in. 

Breaking transfer news is really how I gained the Twitter following that I have (110k at last look), and we will hopefully remain on the pulse this January on our patreon. 

The patreon is so much more than just news though. We have a weekly podcast, weekly extra time show with ex-players (you can access all the previous ones no matter when you sign up) and Martin Allen provides a funny and insightful weekly show for us too.

We have a fans forum with us and in January we will have one with an ex player. This is hosted over Zoom and all patreons can join as part of their membership.

We have competitions, discounts on events, oppositional analysis podcasts and interactive polls and discussion threads. 

There is so much to it, and I don’t have the space to show all the benefits, but I would urge all true West Ham fans to at least give it a go, for £5 a month you can’t go wrong.

Our patreon alongside your monthly Blowing Bubbles fanzine is the best partnership at West Ham since Cottee and McAvennie! Here’s the link for all the content: https://www.patreon.com/thewesthamway

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