Tag Archives: Carlton Cole

Swansea City v West Ham

Swansea preview and the merits of 4-6-0

The merits of the infamous 4-6-0 formation came crashing down to earth last week at Upton Park against Manchester City, where we were soundly dispatched with the minimum of fuss. Granted, the opposition that day was of a higher quality than provided by Spurs in the previous game, and the silky skills of Silva and Aguero were a delight to watch. But the fact of the matter is, we need a goalscorer – even in a 4-6-0 formation, and we simply did not have one on the pitch that day. We need a Suarez or a Michu, and Vaz Te – despite his endeavour – does not compare. What we do have to choose from are Carlton Cole, Petric and Maiga. Carlton is approaching the required fitness levels, but he is surely not going to improve on his form from last year, which led to West Ham taking the decision not to renew his contract. He is the type of striker that fits most comfortably into the Allardyce Plan A formation though, so may get some time on the pitch to wards the end of the match. Petric is the most obvious choice if continuing with the 4-6-0 formation, and surely he must be fit enough by now to give Vaz Te a run for his money? I would not be surprised to see him start. But I fear it will be a case of “Play it again Sam”, and the same formation up front as last week.

In midfield, Nolan seems a shadow of his fomer self, and I would imagine that if he were not the skipper, he would have been given a rest already. He is probably still one of the first names on the team sheet though, and I would very surprised if that were to change.

Against Man City, the defence were lambasted by Allardyce for some simple mistakes in giving 2 goals away, and as well as Tomkins has been playing, I would expect him to make way for James Collins today who has been generally outstanding this season. Rat should keep his place now he has forced his way into the team, and Demel and Reid should complete the lineup.

Today’s match against Swansea should be interesting, as they do play attractive football along the ground like we used to many moons ago. They have had two managers – Laudrup, and Rogers before him – that have a similar view on how the game should be played. I must admit to feeling a little envious of both teams’ supporters, and have a hankering for a manager like that at West Ham one day. Still, we have Big Sam for now and we must all get behind him and the players he has at his disposal. Carroll is unlikely to be back on the pitch before Christmas, so we may struggle with results. The January transfer window will be interesting, and a chance to fill some holes in the squad (assuming we can offload Maiga and AN Other), but despite all the current problems, I am still hopeful of a mid-table finish at the end of the season.


David Sullivan

Has David Sullivan made West Ham a laughing stock?

I’m sure it is not just me. I’m fed up of being the laughing stock of the Premier League. Again.
Since the Davids took over the pattern has been clear. David Gold is the wise old bird with a love of tweeting. David Sullivan is the brash, hands-on fanatic, like a kid with a brand new toy.

To be fair, they have pumped a substantial part of their personal fortune into the club, and for that they are to be thanked. They have (along with Mrs Brady) negotiated a move to the Olympic stadium for peanuts, which could be a masterstroke or the end of the club as we know it. But that’s all fine. What I take issue with is the manner in which certain things are done.

From the start Sullivan has been overly vociferous. In the days of Zola he was openly commenting on how pathetic some performances were. He also stated at one point that the entire West Ham squad were up for sale (apart from Scott Parker). Whether that was to deliberately undermine tha manager because they wanted their own man in (who laughably ended up being Avram Grant), or whether he just got over-excited with his new toy, the end result was cringing embarrassment and yet another face-palm of the highest order. Over the months that followed Grant’s appointment, Sullivan did manage to keep his comments to himself somewhat more, and when Avram Grant was rumbled for who he really was (just a randy old bloke who hangs around football clubs pretending to be a manager), the two Davids seemed to make the right decision (despite initial concerns) when appointing Sam Allardyce.

But things have slipped again since then. Sullivan’s teenage son, Jack, has a Twitter account. It must be with his father’s blessing, and perhaps it sometimes is his father in disguise, but some of the comments that get tweeted are not just unhelpful, they are unprofessional and damaging to the club. When Chamakh was signed on loan from Arsenal, young master Sullivan tweeted how disappointed he was, and that the player would not have been his choice. Many other tweets have followed, some saying uncomplimentary things about players we were hoping to sign. There was even a spot poll on whether we shouls sign a convicted rapist. Enough! What other clubs have to sput up with this complete lack of professionalism? In my opinion Sullivan senior shows a lack of class allowing this foolishness to perpetuate.

And finally, we have the lamentable business that was the recent transfer window. Carlton Cole turned down a new contract at the end of last season (if what we are told is correct), and despite just having Andy Carroll (who was out long term injured), Modibo Maiga (who has been unimpressive since his arrival) and a couple of unproven kids, we neglected to attempt to sign a second striker until the very last day of the window (and they were long shots at best). When Carroll got crocked again and we were left with nothing, we tried to re-sign Carlton Cole again who was now out of contract (having spectacularly failed to find a new club over the summer). Unfortunately for both parties, Carlton had spent too much time on the beach and was nowhere near fit enough. Doh! So West Ham scoured the remaining pile of out of contract players and managed to sign Croatian international and former Fulham striker Mladen Petric on a season long deal. On the face of it that sounded like good business, and a good stop gap until Carroll’s heel finally mended. But wait! It seems Petric is also unfit and needs a few weeks to get up to speed! Amazing! But wait, isn’t there that Carlton Cole chap? He was half decent. Let’s sign him again. And so it goes on.

So there we have it. I’ve had my rant. I’m grateful to the current owners for saving the club from financial peril. I grateful to them (and the manager) for guiding us back to the Premier League so quickly and keeping us there. I even think that moving to the Olympic stadium is a good move. Just please start showing a bit more class and professionalism. It would be much appreciated.

Carlton Cole

Goodbye Carlton, hello Rat

So, the silly season has really kicked off big style with West Ham being linked to a multitude of players. Some of the rumours seem plausible, some are just so stupid it beggars belief.

Anyway, back to the real world for a moment and a word about someone we actually have signed, Razvan Rat. This seems a great bit of business by Big Sam. He is captian of his country and incredibly experienced, and is sure to make the left back position his own. Joey O’Brien has done an admirable job filling in on the left while George McCartney has been injured, but he is primarily a right back and should be competing with Guy Demel for the starting spot next season.

The Andy Carroll saga continues with the clubs agreeing a fee, leaving it down to Mr Carroll himself to have the final word. It does seem that Liverpool was his first choice, but now that he has finally been told that he can go and Newcastle has pulled out of any deal, it must be a toss-up between the Hammers and any other club that can offer him Champion League opportunities next season. I know he has got to look after number one, but it does rankle a little that he hasn’t committed himself to West Ham already. Hey ho.

Talking of Liverpool, it appears that we are now interested in Jonjo Shelvey, according to media reports. I know Liverpool need the money to bolster their squad and it is the silly season as I said, but I just hope this is a daft rumour and nothing more. Shelvey has shown himself to be mediocre at best, and is not the sort of player that West Ham need if they are to challenge for Europe next season. My fingers are firmly crossed!

Other rumours include Lukaku on loan from Chelsea (a very good idea, but I think he will want to go elsewhere – maybe abroad), Wilfried Bony of Vitesse Arnhem (surely will only be pursued if Carroll turns us down), and Loic Remy from QPR. I liked Remy a lot last season and I doubt he would want to play in the Championship, so that one is a possibility.

Finally, a word about Carlton Cole who is leaving us after his contract was not renewed. I like Carlton. He is a diamond geezer, and you could not wish to meet a nicer bloke (apparently). He would have been a half-decent squad player if he had stayed, but maybe would have only got 2 or 3 games a season. When push comes to shove he is not good enough to lead the front line, but he has been loyal to us and for that he will always be welcomed warmly at Upton Park. David Gold even tweeted that he was actually offered a new contract but turned it down. So it’s off to pastures new, and I really hope he does well wherever he goes – he deserves it.

Carlton Cole

Last season for Carlton Cole?

With his current contract ending at the end of this season, Carlton Cole must be wondering if it will also be his last. Since the arrival of Andy Carroll, Cole has been a bit part player, only appearing 14 times with 11 of those from the bench. Cole’s performance last Sunday will have done little to convince Big Sam that he is a genuine Premiership front man, and it seems likely that Cole will leave for pastures new in the summer.

It is a shame that Cole never quite hit the heights expected of him. Under Zola he flourished, but since the Italian departed he reverted to previous form. Sometimes he can do great things, but often his first touch lets him down, headers rarely seem to find teammates, and in an aerial challenge the opposition usually ends up with a free kick. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the guy; He wears his heart on his sleeve and is passionate about the club. But if West Ham are to fulfill the potential that is expected of them now it seems certain that their new home will be the Olympic stadium, they must surely try attract a higher calibre of striker that will bang in the goals on a regular basis. For now, Carlton Cole is a half-decent backup to Andy Carroll and really no more.