May 18 2013 Latest news:
Tony Cottee, Exclusive West Ham Columnist
Thursday, January 3, 2013
The West Ham Columnist is looking forward to Saturday’s FA Cup showdown with Manchester United
I have always said that I want to see two things before I pop off from this life – I want to see England win the World Cup and I want to see West Ham win the FA Cup!
Some people say that the FA Cup has lost its magic over the last few years and I guess that the Premier League is the be all and end all of things nowadays, but for me when I was younger, winning the Cup was almost more important than winning the league.
I was lucky enough to be at Wembley for the 1980 final, while I also played for Everton in the 1989 final and those were days I will never ever forget.
If you remember what it was like for the play-off final back in May and then double or treble the excitement then you will get somewhere close to what a West Ham FA Cup final at Wembley would be like.
We have a tough game to start with on Saturday against Manchester United, but I think it is vital that the manager puts out his best team and looks to win the match, which they can do.
Going out in the third round is always one of the worst points of the season, because you have nothing more to look forward to in the season, except perhaps a miserable relegation battle.
We are not in that situation at the moment, but a heavy loss on Saturday won’t help confidence.
We all remember that night in the snow a couple of years ago when West Ham demolished United in the Carling Cup. Wouldn’t it be nice to see something similar on Saturday? That is what the FA Cup is all about.
Positive results lead to more positive results and though we are not looking over our shoulders at the moment, we need to be on guard.
Lack of away goals is worrying
Saturday was not a great day for me, or for West Ham. I was scheduled to go to Nottingham Forest, but it seemed destined to be called off as they held pitch inspections at 10am, noon and then 1pm.
I had already sorted out a ticket and car park pass with Neil McDonald for Reading v West Ham, but in the end they played at the City Ground.
Perhaps I didn’t miss much at Reading. James Collins’ mistake and Ricardo Vaz Te’s miss seemed to sum up the day and it really highlights the difference between the Premier League and the Championship.
Last season, West Ham were scoring for fun and winning a record number of matches on their travels, this time round, although they have had some good wins, the goals have not been flowing.
Similarly at the other end you cannot afford to make mistakes like the one on Saturday.
I think you get more time to play in the Premier League than you do in the Championship, but when you make a mistake at either end, the chances are you are going to get punished.
That needs to be sorted and fast.
Here’s to a happy new year to every Hammer!!