West Ham wobble follows Arsenal and Man City trend while offering Chelsea and Spurs warning

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Having inherited the centrepiece of the 2012 Olympics, the Hammers have endured similar struggles to Premier League rivals in adapting to a new home


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Moving house is not a particularly pleasant experience, at least to start with.

Eventually all of your belongings will find a new home and a sense of normality return.

You know this, but that is of little consolation as you spend the first few months tripping over errant boxes and wondering where you packed the dog bowl and your favourite mug.

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Life at this stage is difficult.

Nothing feels right and you miss the comforting surrounds of your former abode where everything had its place and the stains on the carpet and cracks in the walls were considered to be more characterful than concerning.

Now, as you slowly disappear under a mountain of bubble wrap and bunched up newspaper, you start to question whether said move, with all of the costs that come with it, was really worth the hassle.

Even if your shiny new dwelling was gifted to you, everything is still different and not as homely as the patch you left behind.

West Ham home 16 17

We have now reached the territory of one West Ham United who, after 112 years at the Boleyn Ground, opted to up sticks last summer and inherit the Olympic Stadium which had been the centrepiece of the London Games in 2012.

Fortunately for the Hammers, they did not have to take too much with them, with their new tenants doing all of the hard graft for them.

There were, however, over a century’s worth of memories in east London that could not be packed up and transferred to Queen Elizabeth Park.

They may have only shifted three miles up the road, but the London Stadium is a world away from Upton Park in sporting and architectural terms.

Yes, it may have been a little cramped, but that was part of the appeal and what made an iconic venue so special.

Now, all of a sudden, there are vast expanses in a 66,000-seater ground which has shoved the locals, who used to create an atmosphere unlike any other when welcomed through the doors on a regular basis, further away from the playing field and into the periphery of a sporting spectacle.

Season Played Won Drew Lost Goals Shot accuracy Conversion rate Pass accuracy Possession Clean sheets Conceded Error lead to shot
2008-09 19 9 2 8 23 42.59 7.69 79.74 51.53 5 22 6
2009-10 19 7 5 7 30 43.59 9.8 74.71 49.42 5 29 4
2010-11 19 5 5 9 24 40.09 7.43 75.36 44.56 4 31 7
2012-13 19 9 6 4 34 48 12.69 74.44 42.59 6 22 5
2013-14 19 7 3 9 25 37.76 10.25 74.79 43.79 7 26 10
2014-15 19 9 4 6 25 43.01 9.06 75.23 47.94 7 18 9
2015-16 19 9 7 3 34 44.3 10.83 77.13 49.18 6 26 13

The chants are familiar, the bubbles are still there, even some of the seats are claret and blue, but it is not the same.

Slaven Bilic and his side have found that out the hard way at times this season, with West Ham falling a long way short of delivering on the European targets laid out as justification for making a switch that will bring greater revenue into the club.

It may be that the corner has been turned, with high-flying Tottenham Hotspur sent back across the capital with their tail between their legs and their Premier League title dreams in tatters last time out, but eight successes on home soil is as much as the Hammers can possibly manage.

That figure, which will require them to secure another notable scalp against Liverpool on Sunday, is guaranteed to be down on the club’s final two seasons at the Boleyn, in which they toasted nine wins apiece.

The Hammers’ home points haul is also down from 31 and 34 in 2014-15 and 2015-16, respectively, to just 25 at present, while a 19-goal haul is their lowest of the modern era – a period which includes two relegations out of the top tier.

Shooting accuracy and shot conversion figures have hit a new low – with fewer shots fired in - more goals have been conceded than in any of the three previous seasons since rejoining the elite and an element of bite appears to have been lost when taking into account dwindling statistics regarding tackles, duels won and fouls conceded.

West Ham home 16 17

West Ham are, however, not the first club to experience such struggles, and are unlikely to be the last.

Manchester City, who mirror the Hammers in having traded their working class roots at Maine Road for the more refined surrounds of a venue once used to stage a major athletics event, saw their return of home wins dip at what is now the Etihad Stadium in 2003-04, only to pick up again the following campaign.

Arsenal did likewise at the Emirates, with a Highbury hangover seeing a season with 12 successes in front of their own supporters in 2006-07 sandwiched by campaigns with 14 apiece.

West Ham, like City before them, are fortunate in that they do not have to adopt the frugal mindset taken on by Arsenal as they sought to cover the costs incurred by building a new home and should take heart from the fact that both of their rivals enjoyed an upturn in fortune 12 months down the line – as tends to happen in the ‘real’ world when the rest of us find our feet after a stressful switch.

The exploits of all three clubs should, however, serve as a warning to those currently undertaking ambitious projects.

Chelsea may not be moving - merely offering Stamford Bridge an expensive facelift - and Tottenham relocating next door to their current White Hart Lane base, but both will come to realise that no matter the distance or the amount of careful planning put in, change is never easy and there will always be a hazard in the way ready to stub your toe on!

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