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West Ham’s first season at London Stadium: a ‘terrible’ experience or a step forward?

Slaven Bilic’s side have struggled in their new home and only visible progress on the pitch will compensate fans who have swapped 112 years of history for a running track and a poor atmosphere

From a business perspective, it was not hard to understand why West Ham United found it impossible to resist the allure of London Stadium, with its agreeably large capacity, vast corporate facilities, proximity to the capital’s centre and Olympic legacy. It seemed to tick all the boxes for a club looking to reach the next level, as long as everyone kept in mind the football team that was going to play there. They would have to feel as comfortable as those sitting in the posh seats. After almost a year in their new home, they don’t.

West Ham’s players have played ball in public, obligingly telling the world about what a thrill it is to play in such a wonderfully modern stadium, even though they have suffered some dreadful humiliations there this season. But the truth is different in private, where the brave faces disappear and the grumbling begins. Slaven Bilic’s team feel so uneasy in the new stadium that one senior player describes the Stratford experience as “terrible”.

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