West Ham fans should have followed in the footsteps of Newcastle United supporters when it comes to dealing with their respective owners, say a pair of BBC pundits.
Both the east London and north east sides have had issues with those running their club, the Toon Army having been protesting against Sports Direct supremo Mike Ashley for years over his decisions from the helm at St James’ Park.
This season saw the Hammers faithful take it to the next level, with pitch invasions and unsavoury scenes in the stands of the London Stadium during their defeat to Burnley, with all of their ire directed towards the board of David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady.
However, former Premier League players and current League One stars Alex Bruce and Stephen Warnock, have both been left raving about the manner in which the Newcastle fans have taken to supporting their side through thick and thin, and tore into West Ham, insisting they could learn a lesson from the counterparts.
Speaking as pundits on BBC Radio 5 live sport (30/03, 19:00), Warnock said: “They (Newcastle supporters) are some of the best fans in the world when they get behind the team. It is a tough, tough place to go.
Bruce followed up with: “[Newcastle supporters] should be a lesson to West Ham really, Newcastle this year, their fans.
“They could have really kicked off because of the lack of investment and all the rest of it.”
"Newcastle are a lesson to West Ham fans this season – their fans could have kicked off because of lack of investment but they appreciate the work Benitez has done"@AlexBruce84 and @StephenWarnock3 on 'some of the best fans in the world'#NUFC #WHUFC pic.twitter.com/6aeQWjAN5e
— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) March 30, 2018
Football Insider verdict
You can be sure that West Ham fans have learned their lesson, and that the scenes which marred their defeat to Burnley were in no way conducive to securing the result they required. The team’s improvement against Southampton, pulling off a 3-0 victory over Southampton, was accompanied by the support of the London Stadium faithful, and it is that sort of atmosphere which encourages the players to go out and do their best. The win over the Saints was important and could kick start their survival efforts. Newcastle fans meanwhile have been absolutely outstanding this season and have not let Mike Ashley’s lack of investment stand in their way of backing Benitez and his men. For as long as the Spaniard is in charge, all is well at St James’ Park – or as well as it can be with Ashley still at the helm.
In other Newcastle United transfer news, the Magpies are eyeing up an 11-goal star to fill a problem position.