Between tonight's game against G(h)ent in London and Sunday's game against Bournemouth Hammers ENTIRE season could be defined, victory in both fixtures would see the club reach yet another European competition semi final AND secure Premier League football for next season. Of course defeat in either fixture will have the doom merchants jumping on board with their vast amounts of negative energy directed at the club.
It should not have really come down to this state of affairs given the relatively large financial investment in the squad of late but it is what it is, there is nothing more to add other than it is 'sh*t or bust' time now and nothing other than a resounding win will do tonight! That said, Gent showed enough during the first leg to show just how dangerous they CAN be, so Hammers will have to be at the top of their game to progress to the semi finals.
There are those who argue that the Conference Cup is little more than a sideshow and that PREMIER LEAGUE survival is ALL that matters and to a degree they are correct, BUT winning the 'Con Cup' earns a place in next season's Europa League, something neither Chelsea nor Liverpool look like being able to attain, so it is NOT exactly a dead rubber!
Success against Gent and Bournemouth will NOT make the season something to bang on about in the bragging rights among supporters, but it would go a long way to bringing back the feel good factor that their club once had. Essentially whether by luck or judgement there are at least three teams who are far worse off and if things stay that way then there will be plenty of time to lick the wounds of this currently disappointing season and look forward to the next, hopefully with a new manager at the helm who is a little more forward thinking than David Moyes who has done a stirling job but now needs to move on OR retire!
Ticket sales for tonight's game have rocketed following last weekend's spirited fightback against the Gooners, more of the same will see a lot of happy faces leaving Stratford this evening, a return to the team's 'negative nancy' approach will most definitely NOT! - Ed