Grant has called this the most important West Ham game in 30 years, seeming to forget our FA Cup final appearance a few years back but, that match apart, I'm inclined to agree with him. I know others will talk about that victory at Old Trafford that secured our Premiership survival and the play offs semi finals and finals, which secured (or didn't secure) our return to the Prem, but those people are missing a key point. Those games were all about failure. We were in the play offs because we failed to finish in the top two places of the old Second Division. We had to win that game at Old Trafford because we had failed over the rest of the season.
In contrast, tonight is about winning. Tonight is about success.
Listening to some people, you would think that supporting a club is really about inspecting the balance sheet. Staying in the Premiership is everything they claim. Finishing fourth from bottom and exiting the cups at the first hurdle is better than winning a trophy and being relegated they preach. Cobblers.
Football is sport. Football is about winning things. That's why cup competitions were invented in the first place, and league competitions for that matter. I don't hold with this "Premiership is everything" bollocks. I have loved this cup run. The victory over Manchester United was surreal, the victory over Stoke pulsating and the victory at Sunderland heart warming. If we make it to Wembley, we will rediscover our pride.
Ever since that last minute Gerrard equaliser, supporting West Ham has been a pretty miserable business. We had the shock of the Tevez and Mascherano signing, followed by the arrival of the Icelandic owners, and for a brief window of time, we thought we were in dream land, but just like our dreams...well let's not go through it all blow by blow. Suffice to say, the Premiership has been either a soulless or an agonising place for us to be of late.
Tonight is different, however. Tonight is about hope. Tonight is about success. Tonight is about the spirit of 64, 65, 75, and 80. Tonight we are on the doorstep of Wembley. Tonight the club can recover its pride!
Come On You Irons!