Hammers fans should feel ashamed

PUBLISHED: 14:08 14 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:07 14 September 2010

That's the FA Cup done and dusted for another year I suppose, although I have to say the patched up team gave quite a decent account of themselves overall, and the youngsters that played gave cause for some optimism for those with one eye firmly set on the club's future.

That's the FA Cup done and dusted for another year I suppose, although I have to say the patched up team gave quite a decent account of themselves overall, and the youngsters that played gave cause for some optimism for those with one eye firmly set on the club's future.

On the downside though I don't feel I can let last weekend's game pass without mention of some of the more unpleasant things that can blight the beautiful game from time to time. I refer firstly to some of the chanting from sections of the visiting fans.

Now I'm pretty tolerant most of the time and love exchanging banter with rival fans, so the chorus of 'One Gordon Ramsay, there's only one Gordon Ramsay' certainly made me laugh - me and most of the other City fans around me, but I draw the line at having to listen to personal taunts about well-known personalities' private lives especially when there are plenty of children to listen and then to ask what it all means.

Three seats away from me sits a little girl who is learning the right way about having passion for her team. She didn't want or need to ask about those things that were shouted across the pitch at her and at all of us, and those Hammers fans involved who have children of their own should be ashamed.

I know my boss would be. He's been a Hammer all his life and is one of the nicest men you could ever meet.

Sad to say the bad memories for me didn't stop there.

After a nasty clash with West Ham striker and one-time City target Marlon Harewood had left Robert Green pole-axed and unconscious, several minutes into the delicate process of strapping the player into a brace some bored West Ham fans began singing 'Marlon, Marlon give us a wave…', and almost unbelievably given the circumstances the player duly did, while a fellow professional was clearly in serious trouble just a few metres away.

And that wasn't the end of it.

A couple of minutes later those same fans started asking their own goalkeeper Shaka Hislop what the score was, and before that stretcher and brace had been lifted from the turf said player had shown the away crowd two gloved fingers on one hand and one on the other!

OK, he then applauded his colleague in the goalkeeper's union off the pitch but in my eyes the damage had been done, and it wasn't the fans at fault in this instance. They were merely bored with the delay and eager for things to get going again.

Sad though I was to see and hear such things during the game I'm glad that it is still the exception rather than the norm, and I hope and believe that given the same circumstances in reverse there is no way we or our players would have behaved similarly.

Then again, perhaps I live in a Utopian world where Robbie Savage hugs the opposition and donates his week's wages to charity if he so much as touches one of the opposition during play,

So the mystery of the strained groin was to be the major talking point of last Saturday and not Paul McVeigh's thumping penalty that definitely fell into the 'that's the way to do it' bracket.

I suspect there will be those who won't believe it until a double-page spread in the next programme carries pictures of the now widely reported scans showing the now much-talked-about damage.

Now I could be persuaded to do some hands-on scientific research in the name of 'getting to the bottom of things', just for the column of course, but I think I'll settle for seeing if the number 10 shirt makes it off the bus at Plymouth next Saturday and onto the back of it's owner simply because all of the 'is he, isn't he?' is beginning to give me a bad headache!

And then again all the Deano speculation could just become secondary if the City bus makes a stop off at Portsmouth on it's way further south and west.

Whether our first choice keeper walks off that coach into the clutches of 'Arry Redknapp or has to be carried off, or even decides that the Norfolk air is still sweeter for the time being anyway, remains to be seen. Whatever he decides in the coming days I'm sure all City fans wish him a very speedy recovery.

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