There is bad referring and bad refereeing but Michael Oliver really has put himself up for one of the worst referees that have 'adjudicated' at the London Stadium with his astonishing inept and possible bias against West Ham as he oversaw a catalogue of officials errors that included the allowing of a goal, however well took, that was clearly the result of a foul by a Baggies player, and the denial of a clear cut Feghouli goal that was mysteriously ruled off side, the situation aided and abetted by some spectacular dramatics by the well proven 'professionals' at the heart of the visitors defence. Ironically Michael Oliver might have single handedly have helped to bring a proper atmosphere to the London Stadium, despite the frustration of conceding a late equaliser no one can question the commitment of the team or their manager as Slaven Billic and his assistant were both eventually sent to the stands due to their anger at how decisions had consistently gone against their team throughout the match. The noise and feeling within the Stadium were reminiscent of the old Boleyn ground, and were definitely the best of the 'daylight' games this season.
Sometimes it takes a bit of injustice to galvanise the players and the crowd, well there was injustice in abundment and the players through goal scorers Feghouli and Lanzini helped bring about some form of order, unfortunately victory was denied in the closing seconds which left a feeling of two points lost rather than one point gained. Truth is Andy Carroll would have had a field day given the amount of crosses that went in to the box, but quite rightly the club opted to NOT put him into a situation where he could sustain yet another long term injury, in the Big Man's absence non one really stepped up to the plate, despite antonio giving it a go, and unfortunately Slaven Billic elected to bring on Calleri when on reflection Fletcher would have been a better option. Calleri was woeful and contributed less than nothing in an otherwise compulsive team performance, especially bearing in mind that West Ham did not have any recognised striker to call on. Carroll and Sakho injured whilst record signing Andre Ayew has only just returned from AFCON duties.
If passion and commitment was what the crowd wanted, that is what they got in spades, they may not have seen a win but they certainly saw a victory, team spirit and the crowd as one, priceless! -Ed