We could be heroes

I was there in 2006 at the Millennium Stadium, behind the goal, to witness us lose the penalty shootout against Liverpool. It was the one and only time I’ve come remotely close to seeing us life a major trophy in my lifetime.

We’ve had other opportunities when I’ve thought “this may be our season”. The semi-final, Carabao Cup exit to Birmingham, the quarter final replay exit in Slav’s first season against Man Utd, and of course our Europa League run last season. But as has always been the case in my lifetime, close but no cigar.

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I accepted years ago I’ll never get to see the club lift a major trophy in my lifetime and then in those seasons I’ve mentioned, the club find a way of sucking you in again to believing you may just be wrong, before breaking your heart again.

Truth be told, I am leaning towards a defeat today. I just don’t trust some of our players in the defence not to make any mistakes and I don’t trust our attackers to be ruthless enough. And as much as I love Moyes, I’m not sure I have the faith in him to be proactive enough in the game when the going gets tough. I think their attack will have the edge.

Maybe it’s just the fact I’ve had so many bad experiences of us coming close in major competitions, only to fall short time and time again, that I have just learned not to get carried away and to build my hopes up. The clue is in our song: "And like my dreams they fade and die".

You just get that feeling, as time goes by and more opportunities fall by the wayside, that it’s just not meant to be. That West Ham United will always be the bridesmaid and never the bride. We’re just not meant to have nice things. Whatever cliche you want to throw at it.

I’ve never really got over those chances we’ve had over the years to win a major trophy. Yes, it’s not been all doom and gloom, and even though they’re not classified as major trophies I’ve still been incredibly lucky to have gone to two play-off finals and see us win.

The one at Wembley, against Blackpool in May 2012, was especially special. But the only thing that can ever help me get over those disappointments is if we actually go on to win something.

All fans are different. Some will really be looking forward to tonight and will be confident we’ll win tonight. Me? I’m dreading it. Dreading this might yet be another day my hopes and dreams ‘fade and die’ once again. I’m not sure I can take more heartache.

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It’s extremely difficult for any club outside the ‘big six’ to win any major trophy. So when you get your chance, you must do whatever it takes to win. Life is too short. If we don’t win today, when will we ever get this chance again, if at all?

I’ll no doubt shed a tear or two when I see the players come out to a packed stadium, seeing thousands of West Ham fans sing loud and proud. I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d see my team reach a European final. It’ll be beyond a pinch myself moment.

But in terms of the game itself, I’ll only enjoy it if we’re winning and especially if we win the game. Simple as that. I hope the only tears I’ll be shedding after the game will be happy tears, not sad ones.

If we lose, I can’t say I wasn’t expecting it. But if we somehow finally win, it’ll feel even greater.

We’ve got some great players amongst the squad, with some already going down in the club’s history books for doing some significant things, whether it’s club records or personal records. But this is their one true moment to be remembered as heroes forever. To all become club legends that will be spoken about for years to come. As will our manager.

Please David Moyes, the coaching staff and the players, please win tonight at all costs! It’s about damn time the wait for a major trophy ended once and for all.

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