Fan protests turned extraordinarily bad on Saturday at the London Stadium, where West Ham fell 3-0 to Burnley.
As part of an ugly morning which featured a fan planted a corner flag at midfield and a section of the crowd almost universally turning away from the pitch, West Ham veteran Mark Noble tackled a pitch intruder.
[ RECAP: West Ham 0-3 Burnley ]
He said he hopes the fans got their anger off their chest for future home matches, and admitted playing is a struggle right now.
“The atmosphere was horrible,” he said. “To be honest we know a lot of it isn’t aimed at the players, it’s other reasons, but we got to be men enough to be able to play in that atmosphere. It’s hard don’t get me wrong when you’ve got 50, 60-thousand here and a big percentage are not happy with where the club is, so the players take the brunt of it.”
Noble said he understands the fans have had enough, and that West Ham needs to get wins, and spoke of the tackling incident, and the bizarre stadium experience, after the match on NBCSN:
“The end of the day, first and foremost, I’m a human being. I know I’m out on the pitch under cameras and scrutiny all the time but if someone’s approaching me I’m going to protect myself for sure. It’s a big surface area to police and the security couldn’t do that.”
“I wouldn’t say (I felt) endangered but you never know in this world. I’ve been at this club for a long long time. I’m a West Ham fan myself and I’ve always protected it, but if someone approaches me on the pitch I’m gonna protect myself, full stop.”