«10 Quickies» is a series of short interviews here on scandinavianhammers.com. Each day until the new season kicks off we ask a new West Ham related personality or site the same 10 questions and present the answers for you here on our website. Today we had a chat with Anton Baker representing the new and upcoming site Irons United!
SH: Time to promote yourself! Who are you?
AB: I’m Anton Baker, co founder of Irons United. You can find Irons United on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We are also due to launch on YouTube for the start of the season. Link to our website: https://ironsunited.wordpress.
SH: Why do you support West Ham?
AB: Well my dad was born and bred in East Ham, a stone’s throw away from Upton Park so I had no choice in the matter. In fact he had 6 kids, so we have our own mini West Ham side. I suppose my uniqueness of supporting West Ham is the fact I live in Scotland and own a Season Ticket. Some people think I’m mad, but I bleed claret and blue and would have it no other way. This year is even more special for me, as I pass on the flame to my 16 month old son who will be coming to games with me.
SH: Who is your all-time favourite Hammer?
AB: I mean, how could I not choose Mr. Julian Dicks. The guy lived and breathed West Ham. I actually met him on his 2nd debut and he could not have been nicer to me. The man absolutely smashed it in our defence and some of the goals he scored were incredible for a left back. Let’s not forget his breaking speed limits penalties and obviously that stamp on John Spencer.
SH: What is the best West Ham game you have seen?
AB: This is tough as there has been a few. The 2 playoff finals where Zamora and VAZ TEEEEEEEEEE respectively score the winners. But very randomly there is a game that sticks out, which was away to Wigan in the championship in May 2004. Wigan needed a victory to qualify or the play offs. Wigan were the team to beat that year and nobody fancied their chances in the play offs. Wigan were leading 1-0 which would of meant we played them in the semi-finals, but up stepped our veteran striker Brian Deane to score a last minute equaliser to keep Wigan in the championship for another year. Add to that we sold out our allocation that day. The fans were unreal and the stick that Wigan fans tried to give us was shot down to pieces when Deane scored that equaliser. Away to Newcastle in 1998 where we were up in the gods, but we destroyed one of Newcastle’s strongest ever teams 3-0 with a goal from Sinclair and 2 from Ian Wright. And I promise, the last one, but how could I not mention the last ever game at Upton Park. The whole day was something special. I took my 7 week old son down to Upton Park several hours before kick off where he met loads of West Ham legends. We were even on the main ITV News at 10. My dad, me and my son – 3 generations of West Ham. And of course that atmosphere with that score to match. WOW!
SH: Which team do you «hate» the most?
AB: Hate for me is a strong strong word. And I don’t allow myself to hate a team because I don’t want to give them the satisfaction of that. But trust me when I say I dislike a few, and I really dislike Tottenham. I feel from the people I know that they look down upon West Ham and our fans. Plus an away day at their stadium is awful, but made up for the fact that our fans are fucking amazing and can turn any negative situation into a positive.
SH: Any pre-match rituals and how does a match day look for you?
AB: Oh god, yes I have a few. I must wear 1 claret and 1 blue sock (so odd socks), I must wear my all singing and all dancing claret Calvin Klein boxers. I have had crazy superstitions related to sport and West Ham all my life which never work, but I can’t help it. My match day consists of getting up about 4am. Driving to Glasgow Airport, flying to Stansted where I then jump on a bus to Stratford. Previously I drank in the Boleyn with a few mates, but now we will be mixing it up this year with the West Ham Way events and The Carpenters. I then fly back the following day extremely hungover.
SH: What are your thoughts on the London stadium and the move in general?
SH: 4th place in the league or FA Cup win?
AB: FA CUP all day long. I couldn’t give 2 monkeys playing teams from the deepest depths of Eastern Europe to try and qualify through 3 rounds to enter the Champions League. I want silverware. I want to be able to say what my dad has said. He witnessed live 3 fa cup winning teams, a European cup winners’ cup winning team and of course the wold cup. I want to say that in my lifetime. Let’s go and win the FA CUP this year.
SH: If you could sign 2 more players for West Ham, who would it be?
AB: For me we need another forward and a realistic target for me would be Bacca from AC Milan. Proven at every team he has played at in every country on an international level. He may have knocked us back last year, but we can’t be turning our noses up to a striker of his calibre. I reckon £16m would get him. He has scored over 200 career goals and with him & Chicharito up top, leaves a mouth-watering prospect.
Then I would take Jack Wilshire (yes, injury prone) on loan and let Arsenal pay the big bucks and give him some game time when fit. What a quality squad addition he would be.
SH: Whats your predictions for the 17/18 season?
AB: I am a very optimistic West Ham fan. I enter every season as if we are going to win the league. But with a few more additions to our squad, let’s challenge for the top 6. And just win a cup, preferably FA CUP.
Thanks Anton, that was some really good answers! Come on you Irons!!