Tomorrow sees a new era as West Ham start life in the Olympic Stadium. What should have been a foregone conclusion in fact will be an exciting affair as the Hammers need to win to progress in Europe and thus the game will test our ability to create a Boleyn-style atmosphere in the larger and less enclosed new stadium.
Although this is all very exciting, it inevitably brings up many fond memories of Upton Park and the sense that they are really consigned to a part of history that can never be recreated. My father, a lifelong Hammer and now deceased, will never witness this. It's a time to remember those who cannot share this moment, God Rest them.
Perhaps even worse, is the worry that we will go all metrosexual like the tragic Gooners. Will it be Jamie Oliver's Italian Bistro instead of the Ribman? The Tap-East 'brewery-pub' instead of the Boleyn?....Never!
It'll take time to adjust but let's hope the team gets straight into the groove. 888Sport have the Hammers at 9/50 on to win, with Domzale at 13/1 (surely generous given the circumstances?) and a draw at 11/2 against.
As of yet we have no idea where it will be televised.....It's possible that this historic occasion may not be on live TV!!! A real blow for those long distance fans who cannot afford the late booking costs of flights that include a Friday morning return...welcome to Thursday night Europa League football.....hmmmm.
We predict an early breakthrough with a 3-0 win for the Hammers as they get into gear after last weeks misfiring display.