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Entertainment or trophies?

I sent a message to an intelligent West Ham friend congratulating him on his club’s season.

The Hammers are seventh in the Premier as I write and set fair for their fifth consecutive season in European competition, having won the Conference League last season.

He would not have it, retorting that the football was pretty dire and David Moyes is yesterday’s man.

West Ham have always been known for their attractive, stylish football but have had a succession of pragmatic northern managers like ‘Big Sam’ Allardyce and Moyes who do not conform to these traditions or principles.

There are some teams for whom winning is not enough to please the fans.

West Ham is one such, Spurs another.

Spurs’ last trophy was won in 2008 and – though they appointed trophy-winning managers in José Mourinho and Antonio Conte – the silverware did not materialise but the complaints about their style of play did.

The two Manchester clubs have traditionally won trophies attractively – as did Arsenal under Arsene Wenger – (but not under George Graham).

Alan Tanner has maintained Fulham have always played good football and still do, but their greatest success is finishing seventh and then reaching a Europa League final against another pragmatic side (Atletico Madrid) under Roy Hodgson in a well-drilled but rarely exciting side quite happy to let their most creative player Jimmy Bullard go.

I cannot pretend to have Tom Hollingworth’s knowledge of all sports but in cricket England under Ben Stokes put entertainment first but after 2 series defeats the media knives are out v

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About Rex Mitchell

Rex Mitchell is a Brentford supporter from childhood. This has not prevented him having a distinguished Fleet Street career as a sports reporter and later deputy football editor. A widower, Rex is a bit of a bandit golfer off his official handicap of 20 and is currently chairman of his local bowls club. More Posts