THE ROAR – West Ham affecting title race from the outside


There’s a scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – the original Gene Wilder classic, not the Johnny Depp abomination – where a gang of children rush suddenly into Bill’s Candy Shop.

As Bill, the owner, shovels sweeties liberally from glass canisters into a sea of tiny hands, a forlorn Charlie Bucket looks in from the outside, through a frosted window pane.

The candy man doesn’t appear too concerned with charging the other children for their fistfuls of lollies, but as soon as Charlie wanders in, he instates a strict prepay system.

Charlie slopes out, very much aware of his own impoverished status, but entirely unaware of the power he’ll soon have over the entire confectionery industry, courtesy of a golden choking hazard he’ll find in his birthday chocolate bar.

So, why this hackneyed, 1970s film reference? Well, at the beginning of this season, West Ham were very much like poor Charlie; uncertain of their future, trepidatious to assume a spot at the premium candy counter.


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