West Ham, the name still drys my mouth and makes my blood boil. The arrogance of this club, the sheer audacity of their actions past and present, the fans who somehow think we are the villains for taking their money and can not see what their club did wrong. The loud mouth manager, the West Ham FA mafia, I cant find one thing I like about this club. And for years I have dreamed of us pulling their name out of the hat and drawing them in the cup, a match eight years in the making, so why is it that I am so underwhelmed by Tuesdays game against this enemy? Well it's simple, this is not the game we wanted, this is not the right stage for this battle. The victory at Villa away last season sparked the club into reviving a season, and I have heard it mentioned this game has the potential to do the same, but I don't think that is the case. Yes knocking them out of the cup would give us all a great feeling of justice, but the circumstances have downplayed this fixture. Instead of it being on a Saturday where thousands of Blades could invade London and make their loud and proud voices heard, filling their ground with noise we have a Tuesday night, many who want to go to the game will be unable to due to work commitments, family commitments and whilst I am in no doubt we will take a good following we were never going to need further allocation like we would have done in lets say an FA Cup game. Even in the second round of the League Cup if this fixture had been at The Lane I feel comfortable saying with no exaggeration it would have been a sell out, at least for the home side. The Lane would have been rocking, that is the kind of stage this long awaited fixture deserves, instead we have this underwhelming feeling of it just being another game.
The exact moment that Tevez scored at Old Trafford, that cemented all that was wrong with football, an illegal signing scoring the goal to save a side from relegation and by doing so dooming another to that fate, ever since then animosity between the two teams has built to a level of hatred of which there is no coming back from. And whilst I am not expecting Tuesdays game to be anything other than a personal battle I believe this fixture deserves a better platform to be played upon.
The West Ham fans have been planning among themselves, talks of Tevez masks and taunting chants have been their main focus, but I think their main focus first of all should be selling out their tickets, already lowering their prices to just a tenner I cant see them selling out, I would love it if they did, I would love the chance to see over thirty thousand Eastenders with tears pouring out of their cheap cardboard Tevez masks. Nigel Clough has been fairly quiet in regards to this fixture, and sensibly so, the last thing we need is our management drawing battle lines, whilst to the fans this is more than just a game we want our leaders calm, focused on the game at hand and ready to try and win a game of football. In contrast Sam Allardyce has already been mouthing off to the press, claiming the West Ham fans were the ones who felt injustice, claiming he will do all he can to beat us and make his fans happy. Well Sam at if there is any justice in the world after ninety minutes you will be eating your words. Their was only one team that felt injustice, and no compensation payments will ever make up for that. Tuesday will be a battle, it will be a cauldron of passion and both teams will want to make their fans happy after all they have waited so long for this game, and whilst it may not be under the circumstances we wanted, one thing is clear this match will be personal.