It seems a distant memory. A little Argentine slid the ball under an usually unflappable Edwin Van Der Saar to keep us in the Premier League after a season-long scare.
Carloz Tevez did, however, turn out to be a little more trouble than he might have appeared at first. Not only did he supply goals and a stay of execution, but he played a starring role in the drama which saw Sheffield United drop out of the Premier League and into the courtroom. The signing of Tevez, along with fellow countryman Javier Mascherano, sparked one of two reactions from Hammers fans: “Wow, we’ll be playing Champions League football next season!”, or; “What the hell is going on here, then?
In all honesty, mine was closer to the second. There was absolutely no way that West Ham United had signed two world class Argentines without there being darker forces at work. With an initial bill for breaching league rules of £5.5million, the worst was yet to come.
But was it all worth it? I imagine our latest owners would say it wasn’t, considering the already debt-laden club they had acquired needed all the help it could get. The final out-of-court figure awarded to the Blades was undisclosed officially (though believed to be just over £25million), but it has only recently been completely paid off. Sheffield United have bounced between the Championship and League 1 ever since and they arrived at the Boleyn Ground last month with redemption on their minds.
Verses of “There’s only one Carlos Tevez” bounced off of the walls of the towering Alpari Stand as the game begun but all joking aside, did this meeting finally bring our feud to an end? It seemed as if we’d have the last laugh but the visitors had other ideas. The real highlight of the game, for me, was our troubled starlet Ravel Morrison. Aside from his troubles away from the pitch, he is undoubtedly our most gifted player.
Another promising display came from 17 year old Reece Burke, playing alongside Winston Reid. He was disciplined and fearless, even laying on a great assist for Sakho on 40 minutes.
It was shocking that we failed to put the match to bed in the second-half. The entire match left me bemused as opposed to disappointed, and begged the question: ‘How on earth did we lose that?’
On reflection, it was nothing more than a case of wasted chances. And so it came to pass that a penalty shootout was our undoing. It also went some way in getting rid of the bitter taste of Argentine from our guests heavily compensated mouths. It would appear that the feud is most probably on hiatus.