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

Yesterday, 16:50
Middlesex's Toby Roland-Jones

It’s always great to see two young guys come together in a partnership like Nick Gubbins and Steve Eskinazi did this week against Lancashire.

Yesterday, 16:30
Kezie Ibe (centre) in action for Hendon (Pic: Derek Beech)

Hendon striker Kezie Ibe says the feeling of “unfinished business” played a crucial role in his decision to spurn offers from elsewhere and sign a new contract with the Greens.

Yesterday, 14:36
Left to right: Maddy Fairfull, Freya Gordon, Momo Daniel and Milly Whitmore Jones

South Hampstead junior school’s girls beat all of the boys to win gold at the London Schools ski race on the Welwyn dry slope.

Yesterday, 14:32
Touqeer Ahmad was one of only three South Hampstead batsmen to get into double figures. Pic: Paolo Minoli

South Hampstead suffered another bout of travel sickness on Saturday as an eight-wicket defeat at Brentham maintained their record of losing every game away from home so far this season.

Yesterday, 12:58
Arsenal's Asisat Oshoala

Arsenal Ladies boss Pedro Martinez Losa is backing Asisat Oshoala to be a long-term success despite a slow start to her Gunners career.

Yesterday, 07:07
Highgate captain Jake Sharland

Highgate captain Jake Sharland wants his side to forget about results and focus on enjoying the game as they attempt to turn their season around.

Tue, 11:38
James Ward (right) congratulates Novak Djokovic on his victory at Wimbledon

Camden’s James Ward says he enjoyed “an unbelievable day” on Wimbledon’s Centre Court on Monday, having taken the world No1 and reigning champion Novak Djokovic to a tie-break.

Tue, 10:13
North Middlesex's Connor Nurse took 4-20 against league leaders Ealing but was less successful when he opened the batting, being bowled first ball. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex find themselves just one point above the relegation zone in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County League after their latest failure with the bat resulted in a defeat against leaders Ealing.

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

£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.

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe