The new Storms track “Shame” is now available as a free download from the band’s official website, so we had a timely natter with front man George Runciman about his beloved West Ham United…
How did you come to support West Ham?
It was all my old man’s doing, he took me to my first game at Upton Park when I was 6, and believe it or not I’m really glad he did.
What are your expectations for the rest of the season? What are your thoughts on the season so far?
So happy with the result against Arsenal. I can’t say I was too shocked though to be honest, I think our best eleven is strong. Our best back four are as good as Liverpool’s or Spurs’s defences now with the addition of Ogbonna.
We have Kouyaté who is Champions League standard and Noble who works his socks off in midfield, then we have players like Payet, Valencia, Sakho and Carroll as our attacking options. I’m intrigued to see how good this Lanzini is too, if he’s as good as Bilić says he is then happy days.
I genuinely think if we can keep certain players fit we could have a chance of winning a cup this season. I’m usually very pessimistic as a West Ham fan but I think we’ve bought very well in the last year and we’ve built a strong first eleven.
Do you think the manager is doing a good job?
Yes, I’ve been very impressed with Bilić so far. I remember him as a player, he’s got West Ham in his blood and he’s adored by the fans, which is what we’ve been missing from a manager for a long time now.
I said it before the Arsenal game that Bilić and the board have made the right decision to prioritise the Premier League over the Europa League this season. I don’t think our squad would’ve had enough qualify to have a real go at winning the Europa League, it’s something like 22 games to win it – that’s just simply too much unfortunately.
It would’ve been nice to qualify but I think it could be a blessing in disguise. In our last year at the Boleyn I’d rather us have a real go at lifting either the FA Cup or League Cup and a top half finish, maybe even qualifying for Europa League through football rather than fair play.
Then once we move into the Olympic Stadium we can strengthen the squad and have a proper crack at Europe! I definitely think Slaven Bilić is the man to do this.
Which areas of the team/squad would you like to see strengthened?
I believe it’s extremely important we sign Alex Song, he was immense at the beginning of last season. I don’t think we can be relying on 16-year-old Reece Oxford all season in that vital holding position, although he impressed me a lot against Arsenal. Song could tutor Oxford too which would obviously be a bonus.
I don’t know anything about our new left-back Hendrie, but if he’s anything like Cresswell than I’d be over the moon. I’d like to see Bilić maybe offload O’Brien now and seek a replacement to keep Jenkinson on his toes – or maybe that could be a position for young talent Reece Burke to fight for, I’m not sure.
I also think we need one more striker due to Carroll being made of glass. West Brom just recently signed Rondon who would’ve been perfect. Who’s left? Hernández or Austin? Either of them would be quality signings.
Have you managed to get to the Boleyn Ground much to watch them over the years?
Yeah, I’ve had 3 season tickets in my life time. I try and get down as much as I can, I’m going to the Bournemouth game on 22nd August.
Would you be able to name the best and worst games you’ve ever been to?
It’s hard to pick one game in particular. It was a great moment watching Ravel Morrison go past the whole Fulham team before laying it off to Joe Cole to wrap up a 3-0 win in 2013.
Worst game I’ve been to is surely one from when we were in the Championship with Roeder in charge, or when Zola or Avram Grant were in charge, but I think I’ve somehow removed them all from my mind.
A game that springs to mind is when we lost 4-0 to Arsenal in 1999 and Anelka stuck his two fingers up at us after he scored, the git. It was on Di Canio’a and Foé’s (RIP) home debuts if I remember correctly.
Finally, if you had to select a five-a-side team out of all the players you’ve seen play for your team in your time as a fan, who would you pick?
Ludo in goal, Dicks or Rio at the back, Di Canio, Ravel Morrison and Tevez.
Download “Shame” for free from the band’s official website