Wise men never sit and wail their loss,
..but cheerily seek how to redress their harms. William Shakespeare
It should not be a surprise that the debate about the manner of our capitulation to the Spam has passionately rumbled on inside the forum and it should come as no surprise that just as divisive is the subtext to the loss; namely the contentious issue "to win or not to win, that is the question!" (my apologies to William for corrupting his words).
Our Survey said:
Our poll and so many of the posts have reflected the passion and the pain we invariably feel when losing to a local 'lesser` rival in the manner that we did; our poll which gave just a choice of three answers asked;
Do our players understand the importance to fans to win derby's?
Suggested By: 10Hoddle
no, they get paid regardless. 58%
Yes they do, they just have off games 28%
Can't be sure either way! 14%
It attracted one of our highest ever votes, and as you can clearly see the underlying but overwhelming sentiment being expressed is that the players simply don`t have the same regard for the outcome as we think they should.
Can that honestly be true?
Are they not all professionals who do this for a living, who work tirelessly to be as good as they can be; did West Ham simply end up wanting it more than us, or was it a combination of returning not fully fit players, and players that simply have not had the time together or not played enough competitive football?
There is no love lost between us.
Did the foreign legion among us not understand the history and rivalry that never ends between us?
What caused us to Capitulate?
Having done a brief tot-up (and I am still researching the exact numbers) it seems West Ham`s starting eleven had around twice as many competitive playing hours as our starting eleven - could that be the critical reason that we faded so badly and looked so disjointed in their fifteen minute scoring period?
Did it matter that much?
Whatever the reasons, if we`d won we would have been three games away from a possible cup win, and I cannot shake the feeling that we may look back at the end of the season and pinpoint this Cup as one we could have gone all the way in.
As it is, we are left now fighting for three of the most difficult trophies in modern football, none of which we`ve won since the Premier league started.
I earnestly hope that as the season rolls on, we address this harm (and I do believe that the manner of our loss has harmed us) and it is ultimately a winning Season, if it isn`t, then a damage limitation exercise may well be too little, too late, when it comes to holding onto our best and our brightest, or am I simply over-thinking it?