Filed: Monday, 3rd September 2012
By: Charlie Clayton
It's been a while since West Ham United have been anything but poor and as much as it pains me to say that, deep down we all know it's true.
The day we received confirmation that we were no longer a Premier League club was the day I lost a lot of hope for our club. Thank God however that after a year of boring Championship football, on 19th May 2012, it happened.
87 minutes into a nail-biting game in an explosive Wembley Stadium against Blackpool, Ricardo Vaz Te - the Portuguese winger - signed, sealed and delivered Premier League football back to Upton Park.
Fast forward to Sunday, 26th August, the day after the Swansea defeat. With successful signings of James Collins, Mohammed Diame, Mobido Maiga, Alou Diarra and many more, we are looking like a Premier League club at the back and in the centre but after the Villa game, we all knew we lacked strength on the wings.
Matt Taylor on one side and Ricardo Vaz Te on the other? We didn't look like a threat down either side. A few flicks of brilliance from Vaz that ultimately led to nothing is not going to keep us up. Although we scratched a win against Villa, we didn't look very strong at all. We undoubtably needed a winger.
Less than a week down the line and my Twitter feed is telling me West Ham United have signed Matt Jarvis from Wolves. After so many false reports on big names however, I didn't give myself the false sense of security like I did with the countless others and believe this report until Sky Sports News confirmed it with a picture of him holding a West Ham shirt. That was it, my prayers had been answered. Cole would step up and score goals and if he didn't, Maiga would and if he didn't, Vaz would. At this point, I was excited about the Swansea game.
The whistle blew at 90 minutes and we'd lost 3-0 to a team we should be pushing for a result against. We may have let in two through silly mistakes but that doesn't cover the lack of goals. With Cole and Maiga looking poor, you struggled to find where our goals this season would come from. With a week left on the clock something had to be done. We undoubtably needed a striker.
I write this on the morning after deadline day. Thursday night as I browsed the internet laughing at all the names we'd been linked with over the last few months, a television was on with Sky Sports News blaring away behind me. It was just on to get the latest on deals like Berbatov to Fulham and Julio Cesar to QPR.
I was only half listening until something caught my ear,in a very big way. Jim White, the Scottish presenter gave me the best piece of West Ham news possible. "BREAKING NEWS; ANDY CARROLL IS UNDERGOING A MEDICAL AT UPTON PARK AS WE SPEAK..."
I dropped my mouse and spun my chair, mouth open wider than I can ever remember it being. Sure enough, the England international was at Upton Park. I ran downstairs to alert my dad of the news although he was about to come up to tell me.
Still not being able to believe it, we sat glued to the screen for almost two hours until the news every West Ham fan who knows what's good for them had been waiting for. Once again, Jim White, the man of the hour, appeared on my screen.
"BREAKING NEWS; WEST HAM HAVE SIGNED ANDY CARROLL ON A SEASON-LOAN DEAL WITH THE OPTION TO BUY AFTERWARDS" he announced, with his usual overreaction where transfers are involved.
There was suddenly a buzz around my house. My dad and I are lifelong West Ham fans and after being dragged through the mire with West Ham over the last couple of seasons we strongly believed things were on the up. I went to bed a very happy Hammer.
You've got your West Ham kit on and you're rushing out of your house with one last glance at the TV for team news. It's definitely a home day at Upton Park. Within a few hours we were sitting watching the Hammers' star signing himself: Big Andy had made his debut.
A minute in and we were 1-0 up with Andy's header setting up the goal. 45 minutes later and he had been the best player on the pitch. West Ham United were 3-0 up and no one could believe it. We looked surprisingly... Good?
Berbatov came on for Fulham and immediately gave the ball away. West Ham fans jumped at the opportunity, singing, "What a waste of money!' Immediately after this at the opposite end of the field Carroll gave it away resulting in "What a waste of money!" being directed back at us. However, the ever-comical Cockneys screamed back with, 'But he was free, but he was free, Andy Carroll, we didn't pay a fee!' which immediately shut the away supporters up.
Everyone needed pinching by 60 minutes; every single header was Carroll's. It seemed all too good to be true. Then that pinch came and it left a big old bruise.
Just as he had been doing for the last hour, Andy Carroll jumped for the aerial ball played forward but mistimed his jump and hit the ground hard. The stadium fell silent. Lifting his hand up for medical attention, everyone looked at each other. It was typical West Ham. Then, a few seconds later there was a sigh of relief, as the big man got to his feet and walked off the field. He was definitely injured, but he couldn't be out for long.
Carlton Cole replaced him and then Rob Hall made his Premier League debut. The final whistle went and the rumours began to spread like wildfire. A week? A month? six months? How long was the England striker out for?
It has since been confirmed that Carroll will be out for two to four weeks. That meant we may struggle in our next four fixtures - before noticing that our next game wasn't for two weeks because of the impending international break. Carroll immediately pulled out of the England squad but could be returning for our next game at Norwich. At worst, he should only miss two games.
What a result; international duty has actually saved us.
As far as England are concerned, Rot Hodgson is now without his two main strikers (Wayne Rooney's thigh injury also keeping him out). Nevertheless, my club means more to me than my country and if, in the future, Leo Chambers, Robert Hall, Blair Turgott and so many others that are progressing through our ranks do make it through to the England team, with Carroll a West Ham player also now, who knows - a repeat of the legendary 1966 could well be on the cards...
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
by smiley iron
11:27AM 3rd Sep 2012
''Great article, very representative of my own feelings. Arise King Andy.''
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