A Blade of Grass

Alf's Rhubarb Grumble

I often wonder about the oddities in life, take time to consider the absurdities and try to rationalise what I witness but also to find comfort and humour within it all. For…if we cannot laugh in the face of petty tyrannies then we are lesser men and our legacies will be unstructured, wispy and dull.

“I want to grow. I want to be better. You Grow. We all grow. We’re made to grow.You either evolve or you disappear.” – Tupac Shakur

With posturing, pointing and snide remarks that seem to be thrown about with carefree abandon… to the falling heroes on the pitch and their pitiful displays that only they seem capable to produce… ‘We’…within the West Ham family have become servants to defeat and masters of apathy and vitriol…can anyone blame us?

A mission statement would be far too corporate as a declaration of will, however the manager, coaches and team really should have set up their stalls months ago, certainly when Moyes took over and in every game since. However, apart from a couple of appearances, that steely determination has been missing and the quality within our players has climbed over the walls and has escaped to better victories.

The playing individuals and the squad as a whole have not been able to stand resilient and resourceful for any length of time. They have been trampled on, ripped up and kept in the shade for one too many games and no amount of recovery has been able to take root.

Each week, games are played up and down the country, where struggles and boots stamp over dreams and growth, but somewhere there are untapped spirits that are reincarnating and rejuvenating where pressures and depressions would act to wilt, forge gaps and encourage moss to grow.

West Ham United, as a club have been acting as amateurs to a pro dance! They vaguely walk the walk but it’s full of mistakes and they need counsel to set things straight. The summer awaits and a new transfer window beckons but will there be wholesale changes to renew what we know to be old and flaky?

Our squad has had too many inconsistencies and poor performers for longer than I care to remember. Whilst this would have been also apparent when still at Upton Park, we have morphed for better times which simply have not materialised and our ‘bounce-back-ability’ has been given one too many red cards for us to gain any firm footing and build momentum.

As with any green shoots springing out of unfamiliar compost in oversized pots, West Ham have not nurtured and supported the life-force that would lead us to heavenly Saturdays where players could hold their heads high and which fans could sing their praises. Players cannot grow without the impetus to do much better than they are. They can’t improve unless there is clear direction and a sense of purpose that would shed light on their endeavour. They needed a caretaker to give them a good spiking every now and again, a firm raking to gather up the dead wood and toss it out to be left with room to spread out and occupy their spaces with the talents we know lurk beneath the surface.

“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world” – Helen Keller

In truth, considering the last two away fixtures in which we conceded eight goals, scored two and lost six points…I wasn’t really expecting too much against Burnley. I had all phalanges crossed and primed to beckon goodwill upon us but in reality I thought we had lost our opportunity to secure Premier League football some time ago.

Last week against Swansea, was indeed a match that needed to be won, but we didn’t and we failed to honour the travelling support and the rest of the fans around the world. Against Burnley, I thought a result was possible but less likely as they were high flyers this season and had been playing very well indeed…much to our dismay.

Each result in isolation does not hold the key to our fortunes, however trending results would make us sit up and take note. For the better part of two years, fans have been virulent in offering opinion that would solve our ongoing issues but these have fallen upon deaf ears…not that anyone really expects the players and management to listen to us, although we really wish they would at times.

Collectively we stand on the precipice of a season that might swallow us whole or spit us out with fury. The team need to build upon this rubbled result, take heart and pride in what they can achieve, then carry it forward to the next match…and the next after that. This is not a time to be coy, nor is it a time to be reckless! This requires a methodology to our game and a spirit to reach for the sun.

I hold court with those who would favour Premiership survival over Championship humiliations, however my focus is clear and my line of sight is directed in one goal…to urge the players in these remaining games to take root, to embrace the warmth from fanbase stars that will be behind the team every step of the way, to be irrigated by our hopes and dreams and be fertilised by tactical superiorities and heroic challenge.

I was starting to let my pessimism take hold, I had even begun to consider that our time was up and we had failed in many games past, but I forced myself out of this bleak night and to face the storms that lay in wait. I may be a fool, but a foolish wish it is not! West Ham must become the blade of grass recently emerged from planted seed. The players need to gather themselves and build strength, take pride and raise their heads in the spring sun. Growth be tall and wide, be green spirited but not in wisdom! Be full of life and lasting until the season ends, to end their days in glory, within sounds of rapturous applause and roaring cheers before the final cut that would bring on new times and a richer bounty.

About the Author

Alf Gasparro
Life long West Ham United fan, football purist, love motorcycles & soaring with the birds, usually to be found with my head in the clouds...sometimes known as RevelatorAlf