When the final whistle went and those West Ham fans who’d spent most of Saturdays game against Chelsea abusing former old boys, Frank Lampard and John Terry, had disappeared to the pubs around and about, I bet they never thought they’d ever see either player back at Upton Park that soon. Obviously they were unaware that both players have agreed in principle to play for West Ham in a testimonial match for the Hammers’ academy director, Tony Carr as a celebration of his 36 years working for West Ham.
Now the West Ham fans have to swallow their pride after Saturday and think about how their actions toward those two former players reflects on Tony Carr’s night. Here’s a guy who’s given years of service to West Ham United and brought through countless players since he took over the role as Director Of Youth Development in 1973.There’s no doubt if Chelsea had played anywhere that weekend, they’d have got a lot of stick, especially Lampard and Terry and the chants weren’t that bad in the context of some of the things that are sung at football matches.
Yet, Lampard hasn’t helped himself before, with some comments about how his time was at West Ham, that he didn’t enjoy it as well, his family was badly treated by the club, he also said in a Chelsea supporters meeting he’d love to score the goal that sent West Ham down as well as the allegation that when he broke his leg playing for West Ham, some fans were cheering. I’d hate to think that was true, in fact I find it very hard to believe that West Ham fans would do that at all.So the abuse he got on Saturday was to be expected really.
People forget that Lampard has a history of slating West Ham whenever he seems to be interviewed but to say Lampard had a tough week last week would be an understatement, with the anniversary of his mothers death, an on air argument with a sad little shock jock and then the gauntlet of abuse he ran at Upton Park.
West Ham fans didn’t sing anything about his mother, but they did about the rant with the DJ and splitting up with his girlfriend, Terry got the same about his mother’s shopping indiscretion. That’s what happens at football matches, away players get rude songs sang at them, always have done, always will do. Some of the criticism the West Ham fans have received seems to be rather calculated in my opinion and I don;t think the stick they got was any worse than they would have received at Arsenal, Tottenham and Fulham.
I’m sure the majority of West Ham fans that attend Tony Carr’s testimonial remember it’s a celebration of someone that has brought through the calibre of Joe Cole, Lampard, Carrick, The Ferdinand brothers, Glen Johnson, Mark Noble,Tony Cottee, Paul Ince and the latest batch of Collinson, Tomkins, Sears and Stanislas. Let’s hope the minority don’t spoil a celebration of a man who would bleed claret and blue if you cut him, a more humble and proud Hammers fan you’d be hard pressed to find. Save all your singing for the next time you play Chelsea and give them the stick you feel they deserve, just don’t overstep the mark or spoil Tony Carr’s night.