Monday, 24 January 2011

90 Minutes

To most, It's "only the Carling cup." It's the mickey mouse cup as soon as your out of it. It's the cup that's "disrespected" by the bigger teams because they want to concentrate on "more important games." But when you're 90 minutes away from Wembley, it doesn't matter who you are - be it Arsenal or Birmingham - the Carling Cup is the most important thing in your life at that precise moment.

All I've ever wanted is to see my team play at Wembley. I don't care what circumstances it's under; be it F.A cup or play off final, I really don't mind. The only thing I've ever wanted, other than glory, loads of wins and brilliant players, is to see my team walk out and Wembley and to be there to witness it. I've never thought about the score or worried about what I'd do if we lost. I know a couple of Sheffield United fans who said the play off final was the best day of their lives even though they lost, because their dream to see their team play at Wembley came true. Same as all the Villa fans I know - they said it was brilliant. They've been there twice, they've lost twice; yet those two games were two of the best days of their lives.

And I want that. That is all I want. Right now, that's all any Blues fan wants. And we're just 90 minutes away from it. And not just 90 minutes away from Wembley like we were last season, but actually 90 minutes away from a cup final. That's why it'll hurt more if we lose. Last season it was an F.A Cup semi final at stake. Sure, it was at Wembley and it would have been brilliant,. But it wasn't to be, and it wasn't a final either. This is a final. Win this game on Wednesday, and we're 90 minutes away from winning a trophy. An actual trophy. Silver and everything. Proper medals to go around the players' necks - one's with 'winner' printed on them. Fireworks. Open top buses. Glory. Our moment. A little bit of history. The lot.

But let's not get carried away; we've still got Wednesday to contend with yet. West Ham are 2-1 up on aggregate, so technically they have the advantage. But what we have on our side is a home tie under the lights with a full ground. You can't buy atmospheres like that, especially at Blues, and I know the fans will be doing everything to get behind the team because of how much we all want this.

So, the team. This is aimed directly at you now: do anything you can to win. None of us care how you do it, honestly, we just want you to do it. Win by two clear goals and we don't even need to go to extra time and penalties. Win 2-0 and we've done it. Those two goals can come however you please; off Jerome's left heel; deflected in from a free kick; Gardner sliding in at the last minute; even an own goal from Upson. We don't care. They don't have to be stunning goals, they just have to be goals. And say we go 1-0 down, we pick ourselves up and go at it again. If you have to score three goals, you're going to have to score three goals. If we go 2-0 down, we're going to expect you to score four goals, or even five. Because we really, really want this.

As a club we've never really won much, as we so often get reminded by our nearest but definitely not dearest neighbours. So this is something we've wanted for years now, and I'm sure West Ham want it just as much as we do. I'm sure plenty of their fans are saying the same thing as I'm saying right now. I'm sure their players know how important an occasion it is too, especially as they are 2-1 up from the first leg. But we've got to play like we want it more.

The only thing I'm sure about on Wednesday night is that you'll give us a performance to be proud of. I know I can be confident of that. Lets just make sure that when that full time whistle goes, I'm proud of our achievement of getting to Wembley and not just the fighting, yet losing, display we put on.

We need that passion and with that we displayed so many times last season more than ever now, and we need it Wednesday night. Forget the league for now; that doesn't matter this week, we can think about that again another time. For now, all any Blues fan and anyone associated with this great football club wants is to get to Wembley. We're closer than we've been in years to a cup final now, don't let this great opportunity slip through your hands Blues. Grasp it as hard as you can and do not let go.

Lets hope next time you read anything from me on here, It's some jumbled nonsense about the best night of my life, and a trip to Wembley to look forward to.

Que sera sera and all that.

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