Are we West Ham in disguise?

PUBLISHED: 14:51 02 September 2006 | UPDATED: 09:37 14 September 2010

Inherently all us football supporters are pretty much the same; smattered with the classic ingredients which characterise us accordingly: moments of fickleness, blind optimism, periodic whining, short memories, exaggerated high and low moods, rose-tinted views of the past, players we 'rate', players we most definitely don't 'rate'….

Inherently all us football supporters are pretty much the same; smattered with the classic ingredients which characterise us accordingly: moments of fickleness, blind optimism, periodic whining, short memories, exaggerated high and low moods, rose-tinted views of the past, players we 'rate', players we most definitely don't 'rate'…. the list is a long one and, let's be honest, most of us tick every box.

There is a small band of fans, however, which possesses a couple of additional 'virtues': a slice of fair-weather glory hunting is one and perhaps, dare I say it, a sprinkling of arrogance is the other. It would be unfair of me, at this point, to suggest that followers of Manchester United or Chelsea could fit such a description, but I reckon the thought may have crossed your mind, right? For the time being, though, I shall not speak of them again.

No, my gripe this week has nothing to do with the top five giants, Cristiano Ronaldo or a week in the life of Peter Kenyon, and I promise I won't so much as utter the name of Ashley Cole once; I'll leave those subjects to the others. Instead, I thought it was high time we gave my dear friends from Newham in the good old East End of London, the self-styled 'Cockney Boys' or, 'Irons', if you prefer, a quick mention.

Why? Well, it's simple really. Having been brought up no more than 35 miles from West Ham territory, I am only too familiar with the dash of arrogance that trickles through the football club. Don't get me wrong, it would be unfair to tarnish the whole place with the same brush, but it does exist, it's not pleasant and I'm not impressed by it.

My concern for Norwich City is that we don't' start to breed something similar. Three seasons ago at Upton Park I witnessed unrest, demonstrations and a poisonous atmosphere. I'm sure fans believed there was good reason, but where are they now the Hammers have brought in two world class players this week? Short memories, moments of fickleness?

Last season, the cheering of an away goal by Norwich fans at Carrow Road sent a shiver up my spine; I felt something rather unpleasant crawl under my skin. “We're turning into West Ham!” I feared.

A little unfair on the 'Cockney boys' perhaps? Certainly, a warning to us all.

That's enough whining for now; maybe it's time for some blind optimism. “Norwich are back”? We'll be singing “Worthington's green army” next. Keep playing the football, lads.

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