Talking West Ham with… The Rifles

Front man Joel Stoker discusses his beloved Irons.

The Rifles
The Rifles… No Great Escape required for their beloved Hammers this time

The Rifles release their new single “All I Need” on Monday, so it seemed like an opportune moment to collar front man Joel Stoker for a bit of a natter about his beloved West Ham United…

Your manager’s not the most popular at the moment. Where do you stand on the Sam Allardyce divide?

Considering the position we’re in now, we’d probably be calling on someone like him to get us out of it! So it’s one of those ones – at what point do you switch to someone who might play prettier football? And if that doesn’t work, who’s going to get you out of it?

Then again, if we play like that all year round then we’ll probably end up where we are now. It’s a tough one.

I can see why he was brought in in the first place, to keep us up, and we’re in that position again. So who else can we get in to do the job that we basically hired him to do?

Have you heard any credible alternatives suggested?

No I haven’t, to be honest, although I haven’t been down there in a while. It would have to be a totally different style of manager.

Have you managed to get to Upton Park much over the years?

I used to have a season ticket. When I first started going with a season ticket, we had an unbelievable team. It was Redknapp-era when we had about half of the England squad: Ferdinand, Lampard, Carrick, Defoe, David James, Glen Johnson…

When we sold Lampard for about £11m, I was really happy with that at the time! He came on in leaps and bounds at Chelsea. His was the biggest change out of all those players.

What was the first match you ever went to?

I don’t remember the first, but one that stands out is away to Bolton when they first came up – it was the only club left in the Premier League that had a standing terrace in the away supporters’ end, and it was snowing!

That was a good laugh, that day. Supporting West Ham, you can have a good day out even when the team gets battered.

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

Either Luděk Mikloško or David James in goal. I always liked Slaven Bilić, but I’ll have Julian Dicks and Rio Ferdinand instead. You’d have to have Joey Cole and Di Canio too.

Joel Stoker, thank you.

The Rifles’ new single “All I Need” will be released May 5th. For more information, please visit The Rifles’ official website.