West Ham fan’s voice: ‘Fans expect effort, desire and entertainment’

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One of the big talking points to have emerged from West Ham’s gutless performance against Arsenal on Sunday was the thousands of fans who opted to leave the ground at half-time.

It essentially stems from a very misleading aerial shot of fans gathered outside the ground on the stroke of half-time, which does not include the context that the majority of those fans were enjoying their half-time beers in the outside bar area and not actually heading towards Stratford station.

It will have been the only thing they were able to enjoy during their time at London Stadium on Sunday, yet it is being made out that they lack loyalty and are accused of not getting behind the team.

The narrative that fans leaving games early simply lack any kind of loyalty toward their team is bizarre. Surely, their loyalty should be measured by the hard-earned money they have spent on the ticket and their regular attendance at matches. Instead, it seems there is a large percentage of fans – even pundits – who believe a fan’s loyalty is only measured on their ability to sit games out for an entire 90 minutes regardless of what they are seeing in front of them.

Losing 4-0 at half-time to a London rival is bad enough, but that is not the only reason fans decided they had seen enough on Sunday. West Ham are without a win in 2024, have failed to beat Championship side Bristol City over two games in the FA Cup and have lost 5-0, 5-1, 3-0 and now 6-0 in the past two months. The club failed to build on a strong first half of the season by weakening the squad in January instead of strengthening it.

The style of play being served by David Moyes is not enjoyable and the team has seemingly lost its identity as a result.

In exchange for their money, fans expect effort, desire and entertainment in return – win, lose or draw. On Sunday, West Ham fans got the complete opposite.

That is why they left early. Fair play to them.

James Jones can be found at We Are West Ham, external

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