West Ham United legend Billy Bonds says that he doesn’t think the team new home, the London Stadium, feels like a proper football ground.
Bonds, 70, spent 21 seasons with the club between 1967-1988 and made 799 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers. United moved from the Boleyn Ground to the London Stadium in the summer, but Bonds have some reservations about their new ground.
“I don’t think it’s a football ground,” Bonds said. “That’s not to say I didn’t moan about it when we were moving, but I didn’t share a lot of opinions about it because we were going to move anyway, so it didn’t matter.
“And it doesn’t matter that it’s not a football ground because we’re going to be there for a long time. It’s still our home.
“We don’t own the place and there are a lot of problems with that going on, but it’s still where our team are going to play and if you’re a West Ham supporter then you’re going to embrace it.
“It seems strange. The pitch is like an island out in the middle. Slaven Bilic has to walk 20-odd yards to get to the edge of pitch and when you’re sitting up high you can see a big trench where they’ve moved the seats. Arsenal built a new stadium but they’re two yards away from the playing surface.
“I went to the Bournemouth game and I was sat behind the media. It just seemed miles away from the pitch and you couldn’t get the atmosphere up there.
“‘I’m not saying the fans weren’t making noise – there was loads of noise there. It just lacks that bit of atmosphere of a football ground.”