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West Ham fans react to playing Newcastle United first as new season fixtures announced

4 weeks ago
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Interesting to see how West Ham fans have reacted to the 2021/22 Premier League fixtures released on Wednesday morning.

Especially their thoughts (see below) on travelling to St James Park for the very first game of the season.

I say travelling, it remains to be seen whether the West Ham fans will indeed be heading up north along with their players.

The Premier League have said that the plan, virus permitting, is to have full capacity stadiums, including away supporters, from the very start of the season. However, only time will tell.

When the game comes around in August, it will be over 32 months since any West Ham fans were last inside St James Park.

The past two seasons Newcastle have been home to the Hammers during the Covid behind closed doors era.

It was actually 1 December 2018 when West Ham fans last travelled to Tyneside in order to go to the match and it was a memorable one, for them! Hernandez(2) and Anderson with the goals in a 3-0 away victory, the identity of the goalscorers pointing towards just how long ago it was.

As some West Ham fans point out below, that was a rare victory for West Ham, who don’t have the greatest Premier League record against NUFC.

West Ham fans clearly feeling that it is about time they beat Newcastle again and seemingly happy with the spread of their fixtures overall, having avoided clusters of tough games together. Something that NUFC haven’t been so lucky with, as they have a set of tough fixtures together in December and another at the end of the season.

Also interesting to see West Ham fans happy about not much travelling over the festive period and no wonder, Southampton home on Boxing Day, Watford away on Tuesday 28 December and then Palace away on New Year’s Day.

You compare that to Newcastle United, who after Man Utd at home on Boxing Day, then have Everton away on Tuesday 28 December and then a ridiculous trip to Southampton on New Year’s Day.

Assuming fans are able to travel to matches by then, it is laughable.

Whilst if you are a conspiracy theorist you will have a field day.

Here is the Premier League schedule for New Year’s Day:

Arsenal v Man City

Brentford v Aston Villa

Chelsea v Liverpool

Crystal Palace v West Ham

Everton v Brighton

Leeds v Burnley

Leicester v Norwich

Man Utd v Wolves

Southampton v Newcastle

Watford v Spurs

There are seven ‘London’ clubs in the Premier League this season and it is almost as thought Richard Masters and his mates have sat down and sorted out the capital clubs first on New Year’s Day.

Arsenal, Brentford, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Watford all at home. Whilst West Ham are at Palace and Spurs at Watford.

By my reckoning, it is a 38 mile round trip from White Hart Lane to Watford, the furthest any London club has to go on NYD. Compared to the 640 miles or so if you are travelling from Newcastle to Southampton and back!

West Ham fans comment via their Knees Up Mother Brown message board:

‘It’s Geordies away first.’

‘I work with a couple of Geordies, already have an invite to go up for the weekend just need the oxygen tank for the away stand.’

‘Plus a ticket for the away stand, which at the moment seem a little unlikely.’

‘Six wins against Newcastle in our last thirty meetings. About time we started turning up against this lot…’

‘Nice set of fixtures, tough fixtures spread out (I know they’re all tough!)… also noticed we don’t leave London for over a month after the Burnley game in December, not too much travelling over Christmas.’

‘Had a gut feeling we’d start with Newcastle again, gives me horrible flashbacks to the first game last season.’

‘It’s a nicely balanced schedule actually. There’s no ridiculous months where we play several top 6 sides in a row.’

‘It helps that we are one of those top 6 sides so there is only 5 of them we could play.’

‘Very nice start to the season imo. So that will be 4 defeats then…

All the difficult games seem fairly spread out too.’

‘Top of the table at the end of August.’

‘That’s probably as good as you can get – no months-long stretch of games against the top sides, and having one of the Manchester City fixtures late in the season is also a good time to play them.’

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