At West Ham, we have heard the cries of "Save Our Season" at least twice now, each time followed by a miniature surge in form that will eventually fall apart when facing a team with more passion and drive.
As a result, we are now officially relegated with one game left to play, meaning that we have nothing to play for on a superficial level. As a team that has lacked passion for nearly a whole season, will we just see a pathetically limp showing from a bunch of players looking forward to a move straight back to a Premiership team?
I believe not.
Kevin Keen, the care taker manager in charge for the final game, is looking to stake his claim for the role of full time manager come next season. Given his reported competition, he needs all the help he can get, especially given that he was part of the previous set up that saw West Ham relegated.
How is he going to do this? Simple, he has already stated that he will not be playing those who are looking to leave in the summer to avoid any potential injuries. This means that we could see a team composed of fringe players eager to show everyone why they should have been picked over the current crop.
Hot prospect Dylan Tombrides will be given a run out after impressing for the reserves, and I believe we will see a game to remember from him as it is more likely that we will be without Ba and Cole for next season, whilst Piquionne might stay and Keane is returning to Tottenham. This opens up the door for any who are picked tomorrow to show the Davids that they do not need to spend to fill their respective positions, even though they desperately do.
The likes of Spence, Sears, Tombrides and Stanislas, if fit, will be eager to show the world that the West Ham Academy is still the best in England, whilst people like Noble and Collison could turn out to be re-imaginings of Michael Carrick, who stayed behind for a season or so to help West Ham out the last time we were relegated.
It is not even just our youth system that is going to be given the chance to impress. One of the highlights of the past season was our 4-0 demolition of Manchester United's reserves by our fringe players. Our reserves have been on stunning form this past season, actually going on win streaks and playing with a passion that the West Ham faithful have not seen from their team this season.
Players like Faubert and Barrera have hardly featured this season, and will be looking to prove that that was a mistake by Grant. Others will be thinking of playing for new teams after the Summer, and will use this final game to entice future employers into opening their check books.
As of writing, there are two hours till kick off, two hours to what I believe could be the finest 90 minutes of football this season. COYI, let's go out with a bang!
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