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The Julian Dicks Column: 9th November

Filed: Saturday, 10th November 2012
By: Julian Dicks

It's with great pleasure that we welcome West Ham United FC legend Julian Dicks to KUMB.com. Julian shares his thoughts with the readers of Knees up Mother Brown on a regular basis via his weekly column, the latest of which begins a review of last weekend's goalless draw against the reigning league champions...


It was a good result for West Ham last weekend. If you'd have said before the game that we'd get a point out of it, I think everyone would have been happy.

Kevin Nolan's goal, as we now know, was onside. It was a split decision; you can look upon replay after replay and it's still tight. The officials have got a hard enough job as it is and we all make mistakes; unfortunately it went against us.

But City had some good chances - Mario Balotelli had two or three and Gareth Barry had one as well - so overall the point was a decent point for West Ham.

Captain Kev

As captain Kevin Nolan has contributed well for his goals - even though I'd like to see him work a bit harder. But Sam's brought him in to do a job which is scoring goals, which he's done - some important goals as well. If you take his goals away then you might have an argument, but he's scoring goals and that's what you want from him.

He's always gambling beyond the strikers and he's always in the right place at the right time. He scores his goals so if he keeps doing that, you persevere with it.

In the games I've watched he's not been far behind Andy Carroll and it looks like we're playing 4-4-1-1 when he sits in there. But the good thing for me is that when the ball goes into Andy Carroll, Kevin gambles. He does it all the time. I used to try and get my players to do that at Grays but they couldn't grasp it - but he does it naturally.

You have to give and take with him. Kevin's an intelligent footballer and he has an understanding where that ball is going to go. He doesn't get it right all the time - he might only guess right 50 per cent of the time - but he's popped up to scores some very important goals, both this and last season.

Big Andy

So Roy Hodgson has dropped Andy Carroll from the England squad. Friendlies don't really matter but when it comes to the European Championship in the qualifiers you would expect Andy to be in the squad. He hasn't long been back from his injury so Roy's probably given him an extra week or two to get over his injury, but I'm sure if you spoke to Andy Carroll he'd want to play. Still, West Ham's more important than England.

I don't know Andy but to me he looks a character and I suspect it doesn't bother him too much. He contributes so much to the game and was different class against Manchester City. He didn't score but there's more to him than scoring goals. As a striker you want to score goals, but you have to look at everything he brings to the game.

Andy quite often takes two or three defenders with him. That didn't use to happen with us at West Ham because we had belief in the centre backs we played with. I played with Alvin [Martin] who was quality in the air and Galey, who wasn't the best in the air, but he could read the game brilliantly. Then there's Rio [Ferdinand], Slav[en Bilic] and Marc Rieper; they could all do a job.

Square pegs in round holes

Sam Allardyce could be short at the back this weekend and may be forced to play one of his full backs at centre half. When I played, it wasn't difficult for me as I was very good in the air for my height - which you have to be because when you're a centre back, most things come down the middle!

As a centre back, you have to be comfortable on the ball but at the end of the day if that's all he's got he'll have to play them there, they'll have to go and do the best job they can. It's fairly easy to adapt, it's not as if you've gone from centre forward to centre back or left wing to defence. If you play at left back you should be able to play as a left-sided centre half; it shouldn't be that much of a problem.


Carlos Tevez received a warm welcome last weekend. I think it's great that he getsa good reception when he comes back to Upton Park. When he was here he gave everything he had for West Ham, so it was nice when the fans applauded him as he was substituted. But it's weird; I think he concentrates more on the supporters than he does the game!

Often now you see ex-players refuse to celebrate if they score - but for me that's all b*llocks. If you score for Man City, as a Man City player you should celebrate. The players say that's not acceptable now but that's total crap. When Tevez was substituted, he clapped the West Ham fans before the Man City fans - and if I was a City supporter, that would have pissed me off! It's nice and everything, but I think he needs to concentrate more on playing for Man City than getting plaudits from West Ham fans.

Coming Home

I had a fantastic experience when I came back to West Ham with Liverpool, although I didn't get taken off! Before the game the fans sang my name and clapped, so I clapped them back which was fine. But I was a Liverpool player and when we scored - we won 2-1 that day - I celebrated.

At the end of the day I did everything I could for the club and if you get sold, you get sold - although perhaps it's different with people like Paul Ince! I didn't slag the club off when I left; when people do that and come back of course they're going to get abuse.

That's all any supporter at any club wants, to see their players giving everything they have. Certain players, when they're playing for a different club? Yeah, they're going to boo you. But as long as you do everything for the club you're at you can hold your hands up and say "yeah, I gave my best and that's it".

Julian Dicks was talking to Graeme Howlett.

* Julian is currently available to coach both junior and senior football teams. For more details, follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JULIAN3DICKS.

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.

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