It was all looking rosy for West Ham United over the summer. The London side were a team on the up; A new stadium, a huge increase in income due to a new colossal TV deal and more season tickets available to sell due to the capacity of their new home. Without doubt, the biggest factor was European Football was on the cards. Well, that dream didn’t last long whatsoever.
The Hammers were unlucky to only come away with a 1-1 draw in their first leg against Astra Giurgiu in Romania last week, with Slaven Bilic’s side putting in a pretty decent performance and creating chances galore.
And so the fans flocked to the newly-renamed London Stadium expecting a walkover. They got a huge shock that has certainly sent many of their fanbase crashing back down to earth after such a scintillating season last year. Astra took the lead just before half-time and managed to hold onto their slender advantage for the duration of the second 45 minutes – sending them through into the Europa League group stages.
Then came the boos from all portions of the crowd, and you have to admit, the players and manager deserved it. Slaven Bilic put out a mightily weakened team, thinking that his second string would be able to walk all over the Romanian side but that simply wasn’t the case. The lads he selected didn’t look all that bothered to be quite honest, except for the young striker Ashley Fletcher, who came on as a second-half substitute.
It does make you wonder what is going through the mind of a player like Dimitri Payet. The flamboyant winger would’ve been expecting a real push for the trophy in the Europa League this term, and now he’s probably thinking about pushing for a move away instead.
As you can imagine, West Ham twitter went into absolute meltdown, and their passionate fans clearly aren’t happy with the result after boasting about being able to offer European Football until Christmas at the very least.
However, their rival supporters were lapping it up:
We’ve saved the best till last:
Look away now fans of good football songs! ?
“West Ham in Europa…” ? pic.twitter.com/7VVikaJcdY
— Oddschanger (@Oddschanger) August 26, 2016
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