For longer than I can remember I have had seats at West Ham. Years of misery has been the only result. Worse still I have taught my daughter to support the Irons, taken her to games and she is now a diehard hammer. It is the sort of act that should get me reported to Social Services.
Last year was dreadful. West Ham were not only hopeless but dull too. I could take it no more and at £650 a pop my season tickets were not renewed. I dithered about a late renewal after a couple of summer signings by Fat Sam but our early exit from the Carling Cup kept me strong. I was not renewing.
It was at that point that West Ham started playing like Brazil. Win after win, some 3 points achieved against good sides like Man City, with the Irons playing stunningly creative football is something I find hard to understand and I then got an offer of a half-season ticket at £320. Hmmm.
At the weekend I was in the Grim North with the in-laws and for, ahem, a variety of reasons quite seriously considered heading over to the cultural oasis that is Stoke on Tent to watch the match. That was obviously a curse. That fact that I even considered attending a game saw West Ham drop valuable points with a 2-2 draw.
It is clear where my duty lies. Being a West Ham loyalist the first thing one considers is can we escape relegation? It is all very well saying that we are on 17 points and 4th and heading for European football next year but this is West Ham for Christ’s sake. If one assumes 43 points is absolute safety (I remember the Roader/Brooking year) we need another 26 points to avoid the drop so it is my duty to stay away for at least nine games or until we are safe.
Of course when I go back, that is bound to coincide with Andy Carroll not being injured and Fat Sam showing his tactical genius by dropping all of our new heroes to make way for a team built around horseface and Kevin Nolan, a long ball game and the celebration of a 1-0 home win against Northampton Town (Penalty Noble 89) in the FA Cup as a reckless display of attacking football.
It is only my absence from Upton Park that avoids such a calamity with Fat Sam reverting to form. Hence in order to ensure that next season sees European football at Upton Park I feel obliged to stay away and not even consider attending a match.