Hi everybody !
I want to share with you my second game in England as a spectator, after the wonderful Champions League final last year at Wembley between Manchester United and Barcelona.
For this time, we are going to London, Championship League, to watch a game between a contender for promotion, West Ham United, and a contender for relegation, Nottingham Forest.
First impression, the stadium !
It gives a heavy impression but it’s a charming stadium, you are really close to the pitch. It’s on the same time old and new, as the structure is old, but the recent improvements make this stadium confortable.
You can feel a really great atmosphere, kids are coming with parents and grand-parents, you can eat many things around the stadium and have a beer before kick-off… Everybody is really respectful, it’s totally safe to go there and you will for sure have a good time.
You know, it’s totally different than France… I saw fans from both teams having a beer together, being respectful and applauding the other team and players… No disrespect, no injuries, no danger… Ok, the price of the tickets is pretty expensive… Mine was 53 Euros for a “medium” ticket…
Onto the game: West Ham, in 2nd place in the league, welcomed Nottingham Forest, currently in 22nd. And seriously, on the first half, Nottingham were cleary the better side. West Ham looked tired, heavy and not really interested in winning. Nottingham showed great offensive skills, with at least 4 chances to score, but poor finishing, and worse, a really weak defense, not that great to see.
West Ham scored in first half injury time with a penalty kick, after a handball in the area. Half-time, 1-0 West Ham and really undeserved for Forest.
Second half and straight away it was 2-0 for the Hammers, again a penalty, again after handball in the area. From this point on, West Ham really bossed the game, missing two incredible chances to score the third. Forest finally got a goal in the 92nd minute with a wonderful shot from around 20 meters out.
In my opinion, Forest deserved at least a point, or 3…
After the game, I grabbed something to eat, chatting with the fans, and heading back into central London. The subway entrance is really well organized, no issues, no brutality, everything was smooth, and it surprised me the way English people is disciplined regarding Franch people at the stadium.
Finally, it was a really great experience, I always wanted to go into the lower divisions, see a good old English game, and I was clearly not disappointed. I hope everyone of you get to experience this kind of game one day!
Have a nice day