Effra can see why Sheffield United and Wigan are moaning but, you know, they’re wrong.
This was the weekend when we stopped flirting with hope at West Ham and let ourselves dream. If hanging on to our points, keeping Tevez in our team, outclassing Wigan, and Adebayor proving that Arsenal can find the net when required werenâ€™t enough to fuel our belief this weekend, Big Sam goes and plunges our next opponents into chaos.
Here we are with no right to have any kind of shout at all, and weâ€™re within touching distance of remaining a Premiership club. Of course, Paul Jewell and the prize-big-gob Neil Warnock think that we have no right to be here at all and that we only are because the Premier League went soft on us since weâ€™re from London, weâ€™re a supposed big club, Trevor Brooking used to play for us, or our fans make a lot of noise and the media overdose on itâ€“ take your pick from whatever it is about West Ham that winds you up.
Letâ€™s get something straight though. Everyone who loves West Ham should be ashamed of the shocking mendacity and incompetence of those responsible for bringing Tevez and Mascherano to the club. We deserve severe punishment. But even those whose self-interest would have been served by an immediate points deduction for West Ham should be able to see that at this stage of the season, when there were quite simply not enough games left for us to recover, that docking points would have been a disproportionate punishment especially when one remembers that the chairman and managing director who were the sinners in all this, and the manager who failed to ask the necessary questions, are all gone. There would have been no justice in imposing relegation on Magnusson, the players, and the fans for something that the Premier League could have dealt with it at any time since last September.
I can just imagine what the Sheffield United boss would have said if his club had spent the last four months playing under the threat of points deduction because the Premier League couldnâ€™t get its act together. That would have been an anti-northern, anti-small club conspiracy, deliberately set up to torture his greasy chip-butty obsessed fans and honest-pro players. I understand why clubs like Rotherham, Wrexham and Altrincham might feel aggrieved when they have suffered point reductions but since multi-million pound fines would have sent these clubs out of business, the Premier League had options in West Hamâ€™s case that the Football League does not. Those who want to get on their high horse might also remember that if West Ham do get relegated, a Â£5.5 million fine is going to be no laughing matter.
And if you really do hate us for whatâ€™s happened, think about this. If the footballing gods have just smiled on West Ham over the past 72 hours to make the final reckoning for our season of folly that much more shattering then they have found the perfect way to do it because our bubbles have well and truly reached the sky.