Search

Ironside: Collison’s return and Liverpool star’s arrival make it a happy new year

12:00 03 January 2013

Joe Cole. Photo: Stephen Pond/EMPICS

Joe Cole. Photo: Stephen Pond/EMPICS

EMPICS Sport

Our West Ham blogger gives his thoughts on an exciting start to 2013 for Sam Allardyce’s side.

About our blogger

Name: Chris Wilkerson

Twitter handle: @The_Wilkerson

Regular Attendee

Favourite player: Mark Noble or Winston Reid

Most memorable game: Playoff Final

Predicted finish: 12th

The Christmas break away from writing this column was a blessing considering the poor form we endured over the festive period.

The Reading game will live long in the memory. For some reason games against Reading are categorised in a folder within my mind marked “West Ham United: Never Get Carried Away”.

Many, many defeats to Everton are in there too, and that red card to Carlton Cole is at the forefront.

Thankfully, we picked up a much needed win and produced a far livelier performance against Norwich on New Years’ Day.

Nearly every player was exceptional, if only in parts rather than over the whole 90 minutes, but the most pleasing aspect was the way our returning players slotted back into Premier League football.

Guy Demel was once again brilliant, if only his fitness were better, and Ricardo Vaz Te gave us a winger-cum-striker that we have been missing.

However, the really important part, and the most heartening, was watching Jack Collison putting his stamp on a top flight game of football again like he had not missed a step in injury.

The young Welshman has talent, a grace and guile that oozes West Ham academy and Tony Carr’s teachings.

He really is a joy to watch when it’s all working, and only a fine reaction stop from Bunn in the Norwich goal denied him marking his return to Upton Park with a well deserved goal.

We have lacked zip with Diame out injured, and although Collison lacks the dynamism, he may give us something in midfield that lets us forget the Momoshaped hole in the middle of the park for the time being.

I must briefly move onto the story of the week at West Ham United.

As a child I had a few favourite players. Julian Dicks was almost forced upon me as a hero to worship, my father adamant (and rightly so) that the man was a legend.

Paolo too is a hero of mine, and I will not be the only one this weekend remembering a daft French ‘keeper with no hair waving his hand around as our Italian maestro poked the ball beyond him at Old Trafford.

But Joe Cole was everything I wanted a footballer to be. Courageous, outrageous and passionate, a player who cared and a man who hurt with us when we went down.

Joey was the one I went out and copied, I must have attempted countless mazy runs and unnecessary flicks as I played football with friends.

I hope the deal is financially sound, but forgive me for sitting with childish expectations and nostalgic excitement, forgetting the complexities and details of a transfer as I pray to watch one of my footballing heroes return home to east London.

Happy New Year.

Related articles

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

13:15
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Tottenham were defeated in Melbourne for the second time this week after a 1-0 loss against a strong Atletico Madrid side in the pre-season International Champions Cup tournament.

Yesterday, 22:41
Essex's Ashar Zaidi

Pakistan all-rounder Ashar Zaidi blazed an unbeaten half-century to strengthen Essex’s chances of joining Middlesex in the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals.

Yesterday, 09:14
Sean Cronin leaps to win a header during Monday's victory over Maidenhead. Pic: Martin Addison

Sean Cronin is hoping his experience at the back can enable Wingate & Finchley to challenge for the Ryman League Premier Division play-offs this season.

Yesterday, 07:06
Nathan Sowter has become a regular member of Middlesex's T20 side. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leg-spinner Nathan Sowter is seeking to play his part in a rare Twenty20 double for Middlesex this season.

Tue, 18:52
Spurs Ladies forward Bianca Baptiste (right). Pic: Clive Jones

Spurs Ladies won a cup double last season and forward Bianca Baptiste would love to go one better and secure a treble this term – but she believes the focus should be on the league and a top-three finish.

Tue, 18:35
Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette

Lyon have refuted reports that they have received a second bid from Arsenal for star striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Tue, 15:14
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has shown his willingness to put his faith in Tottenham’s youngsters on plenty of occasions, and they will usually thank him for it.

Tue, 07:30
North London players celebrate a wicket from Jordan Gregory in their five-run win against Brentham. Pic: Max Flego

Captain Sam Bardon has urged North London to maintain the impetus of their seven-match unbeaten run as they prepare to face the top two sides in Middlesex County League Division Three.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now