Sheffield United fans left West Ham yesterday afternoon with more than just a point in the bag.
The travelling Blades faithful made their way to the Hammers’ London Stadium in their droves. The trip, which represented a first visit to the stadium for United fans, turned out quite well come the final whistle.
Lys Mousset’s second-half goal gave Chris Wilder’s men a much-deserved point and moved them up to seventh in the Premier League. It also maintained their unbeaten away record this season.
However, not everything about the day was rosy for Sheffield United fans. The London Stadium has in the past come in for some harsh words from travelling supporters. It’s set-back style and dome shape often means fans are a fair distance from the field of play.
It was apparently no different for some Blades fans today either. Pictures began to emerge following the game of just how far back certain supporters found themselves.
It wasn’t just the one fan either who felt the need to share their poor vantage point.
For many Sheffield United fans, Bramall Lane is the home of football. The oldest stadium in the world to still be hosting professional football matches, the home of the Blades is still very much in style of what many now deem ‘old fashioned’.
It’s not built in the typical dome shape of many modern stadiums. It’s up to date in its own right but keeps the charm and originality of having four separate stands. Although the South Stand and Bramall Lane upper are now linked, most of the stadium is very close to how it always has been in most Blades’ lifetimes.
United fans were always bound to be upset by the experience in London today. It’s not the first time the Hammers new stadium has come in for criticism. Journalists have previously chastised West Ham’s new home, ranking it down at the bottom of the pile in their view.
Change of feel
Despite settling in better than they did initially, the London Stadium doesn’t hold the same appeal as Upton Park.
You can almost feel it from the Hammers fans in that they aren’t comfortable. Away teams see the big pitch and space between that and the fans and see it as a chance to get something.
Sure, the Hammers have beaten the likes of Man United there this season. However, Man City have run riot there too, while Sheffield United today could have taken all three points.