As I sat in my seat on the last day of the 2006-2007 season, I couldn’t help but feel as though it was a bit of an anti-climax. During the barren years we’d had since 2003, I had imagined this day, and it wasn’t at all like this. I drank champagne with my family then moved on to the local on the day Chelsea drew 1-1 with Arsenal, the day after we’d beaten City 1-0 at the Council House. We sang “Championees” at Shitlands, knowing the title was so close to being ours. It just wasn’t quite ours yet and so we weren’t entitled to celebrate as though it was. So as I sat in my seat, I was just desperate to get the next ninety minutes out of the way so I could see our lads lift the trophy.After denying us from winning the title in 1995, I was eager for our team to dish out some revenge, and relegate West Ham. However, we had the FA Cup final to play in a few days later and United just weren’t up for it. Carlos Tevez scored the only goal of the game, as he effortlessly cut through our defence, whose tired legs didn’t have the motivation to work too hard to stop the Argentinean. The away end erupted, they went absolutely mental, as Tevez celebrated his goal, the goal which kept West Ham up. If it had not been for the three points Tevez earned them that day, West Ham would have been relegated on goal difference. A few of their fans stuck around to watch the trophy awarded and feelings of regret over the game we’d just watched quickly passed, as I watch our boys parade around the pitch with our trophy.
However, it wasn’t just that goal which massively aided West Ham’s survival, Carlos Tevez played a significant role in their survival during the final two months of the season. At the beginning of March, Tevez scored in West Ham’s defeat against Spurs, with their rivals curelly scoring the winning goal in injury time. The following game, Tevez’s goal was crucial in West Ham’s 2-1 victory away to Blackburn. He scored again in the next game he played in his side’s 2-0 win over Middlesbrough. It was two weeks before his next goal game, a stunner against Chelsea. He then scored the two crucial goals in West Ham’s 3-1 victory against Bolton. Seven goals in the final ten games of the season, with him winning West Ham nine points with his ever important goals against United, Bolton and Blackburn. In a season where just five points separated 13th and 18th in the league, every goal, as well as point, was crucial in aiding survival.
Tevez’s former team mate, Matthew Upson, has spoken out about the impact the Argentinian had on their season. “He really did single-handedly turn things around last season,” he said. “His performances made such an impact because he had come from not performing at all. That is quite rare. Carlos will get a fantastic reception. All our fans respect him for what he did and he will be welcomed back for the rest of his life, to be honest. I don’t intend to be quite so generous as the fans and, after looking at him close up last season, I know just how tough he will be to play against.”
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