The final home game is done and dusted. A fine, thoroughly deserved victory against the team I love to hate. A victory over spurs gives a buzz few other wins can match.
Yet, even the morning after the day before, one of my over riding feelings is one of sheer frustration. Delighted to guarantee our premier league status for next season obviously but, this feeling of almost anger isn’t shifting.
Every team has a bad day or poor run of results from time to time, and gone are the days where I allow myself to expect miracles from West Ham but really, why can’t they put performances like that in more often than not?
Andy Carroll said something along the lines of the players upping their game because they knew history could be made by doing the treble over our biggest rivals. I have news for those who play for recognition or rewards. We’ve never qualified for the Champions League. Take that thought into every game next season and if they play with the passion and determination they showed yesterday every week, Europe is not the impossible target it seems to be every year.
Play for the shirt. Play for your right to be in the starting eleven every week. Don’t just expect it. If they fear for their first team place, surely they’ll show the passion and belief we need to move forward to avoid another disappointing season next year?
Maybe I expect too much? Maybe there will be those who say I should just be happy to avoid the second season syndrome and live to fight another season. Truth is, I would settle for finishing seventeenth knowing we’ve given our all every game. Fought for every point. Earned our respect.
Respect. Do they know what it means? The honour they should feel to be picked to play in the Premiership? More often than not, I don’t see it. These half hearted, don’t give a toss displays happen too often when they shouldn’t be happening at all.
The fans are just as much to blame as the players, Sam and the rest. Yes, I blame the fans as much as anyone. Maybe more so.
The atmosphere was electric yesterday, it was always going to be. Final home game of the season, the chance to beat Spurs for a third time in a single season. Was it a coincidence that the team shows the passion and hunger we’ve lacked this season when the fans actually support them? I don’t think so. The players rose to the occasion and so did the fans.
We all get frustrated with the lackluster performances and yes, they should give their all no matter what but supporters actually supporting them and not getting on their back when the going gets tough speaks volumes. Lets face it. It is their job. A job most would love, but a job all the same. We all have good days and bad days. As humans, it is in our nature to function better when we are recognised for doing well and not constantly criticised for not doing well. Criticism where it is due perhaps. Frustration is one of the human race’s biggest downfalls.
Lose the frustration for ninety minutes, sing your heart out for the duration and save frustration, if needed, for after the game. When they are on that pitch, they need the support. I don’t need telling that the fans who can afford it spend their money so have a given right to curse, boo and so on. You do as you please but, in my mind, there is no doubt the performance put in yesterday was largely down to the support the players received from the off.
Do that every game next season, we won’t win them all but the passion from the terraces will be felt on the pitch.
Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. It is easy to criticise when things are against you. If our home support matched the away support, I would bet my non-existent fortune on us having more successful seasons.
Time for change, least of all from the terraces.