Since 1871/72 the FA Cup has existed, making the competition considerably older than West Ham United. The odds for any team winning are lengthened if compared to the League Cup because of the vast amount of clubs that enter the competition and we’ve only managed to win the FA Cup three times in our 119 year history. So we come to the City Ground where an inexperienced West Ham side were thrashed by Nottingham Forest in the third-round.
What Sam Allardyce discussed with the board prior to the Nottingham Forest match was making sure that West Ham were not going to risk losing twice in an attempt to win. What I mean by that is West Ham could quite possibly have been beaten by an in-form Nottingham Forest side. If that were to be the case, West Ham would lose the match and lose the fitness of the senior players, therefore meaning a double negative for the club.
Prior to the Forest match, we had already achieved more in cup competitions this season, by reaching the Capital One Cup semi-final, since achieving the same feat back in 2010/11. Adrian Durham from talkSPORT claimed that no West Ham fan would back what Sam did against Forest. He’s wrong – I do.
I feel that if there’s a West Ham fan who would be happy to be relegated with the FA Cup (like Wigan), they are wrong. The priority is to stay in the Premier League, and already that task has been evidently difficult. Sticking with a manager, and with a little more fortune in the way of fewer injuries combined with injured players returning is a way to get out of this rut. Putting all remaining focus – come April/May – into Premier League survival is paramount.
West Ham fans should relish in a cup semi-final for this season, and support for Premier League survival. With the Olympic Stadium on the horizon, West Ham need Premier League status come 2016/17. Wigan fans may have had a memorable day but they also have an uncertain future, something which West Ham cannot afford.