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West Ham news: Opinion – Fan on European journey



Don’t be upset because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Because for West Ham, it really did happen.

Back in September 2021, we walked out against Dinamo Zagreb in our first group stage European campaign with absolutely zero expectations.

Since then, we have won three groups, gone an entire European campaign unbeaten, reached three consecutive quarter-finals, two semi-finals and, of course, lifted European silverware.

Not a single person – West Ham fan or not – saw any of that coming. If you did, I want to know what this weekend’s lottery numbers are, please.

The win over Sevilla, those nights in Lyon and Prague, last night against Leverkusen… the memories, oh the memories, will never fade and die, unlike our dreams, which also happened to come true on this wonderful, unbelievable and unthinkable European tour.

It ended against a Leverkusen side that is arguably the best team in Europe right now. We could not beat them, but no one has this season.

That’s OK, because Thursday night at London Stadium felt different. The effort those players put in made sure it will go down as ‘one of those nights under the lights’ forever more. We didn’t win but we didn’t lose.

All we ever demand from the players is effort. We got that last night – and then some.

It was a truly magnificent performance that we must all be proud of. Most of the fans stayed after the final whistle to give the team a standing ovation. It was a mark of respect, acknowledgement and thanks for what that group, David Moyes included, has given us over the last three years.

Hopefully our European love affair continues into a fourth season but, if it does not, we should look back on it with a smile.

For three years West Ham were well and truly massive. And we made sure the rest of Europe knew about it.

James can be found at We Are West Ham, external

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