Talking West Ham with… Eliza and the Bear

Guitarist Martin Dukelow discusses his beloved Irons.

Eliza and the Bear

To celebrate Eliza and the Bear’s new single “Light It Up”, we caught up with the band’s guitarist Martin Dukelow for a bit of a natter about his beloved West Ham United…

How do you feel about Sam Allardyce in the wake of losing 1-3 at home to Southampton?

Sam gets a lot of hate but if we’re still going to be a Premier League club by the time we move into the Olympics Stadium then his track record suggests that he’s the man to keep us there.

Whether we should continue with him once we get there is another matter, because it would be great to see a West Ham team playing good football.

He’s put all his eggs into the Andy Carroll basket, which I don’t agree with – I’ve always thought he was a one-trick pony, and now he’s injured again it leaves us with just Carlton Cole.

We love Cole because he’s a character, but you won’t get very far in the Premier League if he’s your main centre-forward.

Were there any strikers on the move during the transfer window just closed that you’d have liked to see at West Ham?

Only players who wouldn’t have joined us, like Danny Welbeck. As it is he’s sold a midfielder in Diamé and replaced him with Alex Song, which might work out but isn’t really what we needed most.

We had 11 shots on target against Tottenham and couldn’t score any of them, so it was clear what we needed on the first day of the season.

It looks like we’ll need to rely on a bit of luck again, like last season when we had that four-game winning streak. We shouldn’t be needing to rely on a spell of good fortune to keep us out of trouble.

What do you think of the other signings you’ve made, like Zarate and Kouyate?

I haven’t been able to see enough of us this season to judge – we seem to be away or practising every time they’re playing – but I know the fans have made Kouyaté man of the match in a couple of games so he could be a good one. Aaron Cresswell seems to be doing well too.

Do you remember the first match you ever went to?

You know what, I don’t, but I remember going over there with my younger brother and my dad when I was really young. For some reason I always remember playing Blackburn, and also destroying Wimbledon in another game.

I must have been 7 or 8 when I first went over there. We sat in the Bobby Moore Upper – the atmosphere there is a great thing to experience when you’re that young.

What are the best and worst matches you’ve ever been to?

The best game I went to was against Birmingham – they’d knocked us out of the Carling Cup semi-final with a late goal and gave us a load of abuse.

Steve and I then went over to see us play Birmingham in the league, and they were beating us 3-1 at half time. My brother’s season ticket is right next to the away fans so it can get really heated, and the Birmingham fans were really giving it.

Anyway, we eventually pulled it back to 3-3 so you can imagine how it went! It was such a great atmosphere and such a great laugh.

In terms of worst game, I couldn’t bloody pick one for the amount of times I’ve been over there and seen us lose 4-0 and stuff like that, games where you might as well leave by the 60th minute!

Finally, if you had to pick a five-a-side team out of all the West Ham players you’ve seen in your time as a fan, who would you go for?

Luděk Mikloško, Julian Dicks, Winston Reid, Paolo Di Canio, Tony Cottee.

Check out Eliza and the Bear’s new single at Shoot Matchday