Former Irons boss OS worries


Lou Macari Ex-Manchester UnitedFormer Irons and Stoke City boss Lou Macari doesn’t believe the Olympic Stadium can be expected to generate the intimidating atmosphere visiting teams experience when visiting Upton Park.

Writing in his column in the Stoke Senitel, Macari says: “The stands at Upton Park have moved back from the pitch with re-development, but it still retained the atmosphere and however good or bad West Ham were doing, that was always a hard three points to gain in that part of London.

Their new stadium may be bigger and plusher, but I don’t see it generating anything like the same intimidating atmosphere that Upton Park can for visiting teams.”

The Potters make their last visit but one to the Boleyn on Saturday and the Hammers boss of  the nineties declares: “West Ham would certainly be worried if they looked back on Stoke’s experience.

He says: “As a player, you knew you’d have people almost on top of you and screaming all sorts in your face whenever you played against Stoke at the Victoria Ground.

“That memory was one of the reasons I went to Stoke as manager in 1991 – and it’s fair to say the fans didn’t disappoint because they certainly played their part in our success.

“The first 10 years or so at the Britannia Stadium were difficult times for the club and the chronic lack of atmosphere was a huge problem.

“As a Premier League club, West Ham certainly can’t afford to wait 10 years to generate the right atmosphere in home games.”

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • Peterrim says:

    It’s definitely a slow news day and I’m not sure if this is just a column filler from Mr. Macari as he doesn’t have the second part of his argument to make a judgement call on. As for him being hammers boss in the 90’s he was here for 6 months 1989-90. hardly long term, although that must make our present incumbent and beloved manager a veteran here 🙂
    I was at the OS during the Olympics and the hairs stood up on the back of my neck at the level of noise generated. The new roofing system going up now has been designed to reflect the sound and if we support our beloved team as well as we do at UP then I have no doubt it will be fantastic in our new home too.

  • PennsylvaniaHammer says:

    I commented on a post a few weeks ago that the most tragic thing for our club is if that we move and do not see any of the success we think we can get as a result of being in a top stadium. To lose the atmosphere (pre, during, and post match) of the Boleyn and Upton Park and then sit mid-table or worse for an eternity would be a disaster. I’m not a fan of the move but I have no choice but to accept it. I just hope greater success will make up for the inevitable reduction in atmosphere.

  • bubs says:

    It’s the team and how they play that starts the home advantage and then the fans build on that,
    It works both ways as we will see in the next month with the BFS effect,because if the team selection and performance does not change the fans will turn again on there own team.
    That is not what I want but the BFS lovers are going to say that’s what the minority want anyway,
    You need to build momentum in the new ground and that starts from now with a new future,
    And a new manager.

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