HammersMad Munich Trip
Updated Monday, 1st August 2005
HammersMad Regular ‘WHU' gives us his report on the Hammers pre-season trip to Munich.
Many of the 1,500 plus supporters out there flew directly to Munich but some went into Salzburg. The main reason being that the prices rocketed on the direct route, once the operators realised the game was taking place.
From Salzburg, the two hours traveling in the baking sun wasn't the most pleasant ever but at 25 Euros for up to five people into Munich - you can't knock it. Our group of four got into Munich from for less than a fiver each. Some of the views on the way (especially at the Salzburg end) were superb.
The main square in Munich wasn't exactly abundant with bars and pubs but our lot (and many others) settled for the Sports Premiere bar, just off of the main square.
A pint cost £1.50 - £2.20 depending on what time of day you were buying. We were there from 1100hrs to 0100hrs in the main.
On Tuesday night we met loads of other WHU fans in our bar. There were many old faces (some you know, but many you just remember seeing about over the years).
Bayern Munich and Stuttgart were playing in the Arena (where we were due to play 24 hours later) and the game was on the screen in the bar. Bayern got turned over 1-2.
With so many WHU arriving, the result going Pete Tong for the locals and a couple more police vans plotting up on the corner, a few rumors swept around about a visit from Bayern but it came to nothing. Just a really good night out talking football and getting 'merry'. We made it through to 1am and had all been up about 24hours at this so we decided to take the five-minute walk back to the hotel.
On Wednesday there was much of the same throughout the day. The Police presence in the location of our bar was very low key; they even had time to have their pictures taken with various flags over their vehicles (including Belmarsh' Brown Out, St.Georges Cross). They were well mannered and certainly just wanted to observe we didn't cause any trouble.
Later in the day, people started setting off for the game. The stadium was about half a dozen stops away and it was very hot down there.
Throughout the three-days in Munich the temperature never dropped below 90 degrees.
The stadium and stadium access was superb. It was well organised and only a ten minute walk (mainly uphill) from the station.
To get beer/food you had to have a credit card type ticket to take to the bar. This was a pain in the arse to start with but it worked well and if you were a regular there. It makes a lot of sense and saves time once you have your card.
Once we got in the ground the majority of us were in the lower tier in one of the corners and the majority of 1860 support was at the far end. There was a pretty decent turnout all-round really, with nearly 19,000 being the official attendance. I made out around 1,500 - 1,800 hammers fans.
Hammers75 arrived right at the stroke of KO. The poor old sod dozed off but we had a beer waiting for him.
The game itself was dire to be honest. It seemed to be secondary at times, to having a beer and a laugh or a few songs. Harewood got our goal at the far end but they equalized and the game finished 1-1.
There were some decent touches from the new lad (Yossi Benayoun) from Israel but the match really was a most forgetful affair.
I can best compare the Arena to The Millenium stadium in Cardiff. I thought this one was looked very impressive indeed, from the outside.
At the end of the game, apart from the new lad (Yossi) and a half-hearted effort from Ferdinand and Ward, the team went to the centre circle briefly and went. They showed no real appreciation for lots of supporters who had paid good money to support them.
I felt this was a disgrace. How can any manager, not send his players over to applaud the traveling support (in a friendly) across Europe?
I spoke to quite a few other fans about this and they were as angered by this as I was. It is what we are used to know though.
The fans of WHUFC get the rawest deal around in my opinion but there’s something really wrong when a manager doesn't even think to send his lads over for a thirty second show of appreciation? And Pardew wants to know why the West Ham faithful don’t sing his name!
It's moments like this, that remind us that, the people running all aspects of WHUFC, are in the main, taking liberties with our loyal support.
After the games at the train station there were a few minors scuffles breaking out between the home support and some Hammers fans. The police quickly broke them up though.
The journey home was pleasant and the trip was a worthwhile one on the whole.
What amazed me though was the amount of old faces still traveling home and away after all these years. The loyal support this club has got is only equaled by the clubs lack of ambition.
People like Alan Curbishley and Paul Jewell would love to have our level of support behind them and their team. Our support is so taken for granted it's untrue.
So it's into the new season with no real questions answered in this game. The majority view is that we desperately need a new, proven striker and that it's going to be a long tough season. I would go along with that 100%.
Written by WHU.