West Ham may well be playing in a sparkly new stadium, but you get the feeling that the grass has not been greener on the other side. The decision to leave Upton Park was always going to be a difficult one, what with the club calling it home since 1904, but at the same time it was felt if the club were to progress then a move across East London was necessary.
Fans were sold a promise by owners David Gold and David Sullivan, that a move would enable the Hammers to be competing in Europe and testing themselves against the best outfits across the continent after being rewarded with a top four Premier League finish.
However, you only have to look at William Hill’s Champions League odds to know that it is not the case, as David Moyes’ men are something of an unsurprising omission from the list of clubs that are looking to become kings of Europe.
Not only have the fans been promised the world, or at least Europe, but they have also been told that a smattering of stars would be gracing the London Stadium with their presence. A statement that hasn’t quite come to be – with Arnautovic, Hernandez, Zabaleta and an out-of-form Hart the big summer acquisitions.
A view across the capital
You only need to look across London to see how apparent this is. Tottenham have established a side that is consistently pushing for honours and, although they have not got over the line in terms of lifting a trophy, their progress will no doubt raise the ire of fans who prefer claret and blue to lily-white.
The undercurrent of discontent has now risen to the surface, with ugly scenes marring a handful of games since the move. The protests after their home defeat to Burnley is perfect evidence of this. Now, obviously, you cannot condone fans crossing the white line and entering the field of play — at the same time, though, you get the feeling that this has been a long time coming.
There are ways to show passionate support — the example above is not the best, as not only does it make for a poor spectacle, it also can have a negative impact on the team that you are trying to get behind.
The last thing the club needs is to enter a negative spiral, especially when good results are at a premium. The joy that came with the move to the E20 postcode has dissipated, but now they’ve got their feet under the table in their new digs, they simply cannot turn back.
It was always going to be an enticing move, especially with the terms the club were offered. The idea was that the Olympic Stadium would not go on to become a ‘white elephant’ and there would be something of a legacy after the success of the 2012 games. However, this hasn’t helped the East London club’s cause.
In order to stop the London Stadium becoming a symbol of poor management and a club in decline, big changes have to be made by David Moyes and his charges. Otherwise, we may just see a hangover from the 2012 Olympic Games after all.