West Ham news: Former manager Slaven Bilic says London Stadium lacks Upton Park atmosphere
Former West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has spoken of his belief that the London Stadium lacks the atmosphere compared to the one Upton Park used to generate.
West Ham left their former home in 2016 for their new stadium, which was built originally to be used at the 2012 Olympics.
Since then, it has been frequently criticised for failing to create the same passion and energy.
“Players hated to come to Upton Park, especially foreign players, they did not like it, because it has a small dressing room, it’s not very nice and there’s the crowd, the pitch looks small, every throw-in is a danger for you,” Bilic said on BT Sport after the Hammers lost 2-1 to Manchester United.
The former West Ham defender, who managed the club for two years before being dismissed in 2017, went on to say the new ground is not really a ‘football stadium’.
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He added: “Olympic Stadium is different. If you ever played in Macedonia, Macedonia used to have that very old small stadium, it was very difficult to beat them there.
“Now they (West Ham) build a big new stadium, you feel like you are in Brussels or Munich!”
“You could never make that atmosphere like you had at Upton Park.
“Olympic Stadium is brilliant stadium make no mistake, it is brilliant for the fans, the families, but it will never have that football feeling.”
Former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder Steve McManaman added: “It would be nice if you built your own football stadium and made it nice and compact… like the Emirates, like Tottenham’s.
“If anyone goes to the Olympic Stadium, the difference from the pitch to the furthest part. When we commentate, it is the furthest distance from the pitch ever, it might as well be miles away.”
Source: SportsLatest TS