Filed: Wednesday, 1st August 2012
By: Staff Writer
Central defender James Collins has completed his return to West Ham United.
The Welsh interntional defender, who celebrates his 29th birthday later this month has signed a four-year contract with West Ham having spent the last three seasons at Aston Villa.
Collins, who is thought to have cost around £2million - double the £1million fee West Ham originally paid Cardiff City back in 2005 but less than half the £5million figure Aston Villa paid United four years later - averaged just over 36 games per season during his stint in the Midlands.
That is considerably more than the 16 games per year he averaged during his previous four-year spell at the Boleyn Ground which was beset by a succession of injuries - including a cruciate knee injury that kept him out of action for six months.
Speaking to West Ham TV about his return to east London, Collins revealed that he was disappointed to have been sold in the first place. "I didn't really want to leave when I did because I was enjoying my time here so much," he said.
"I've got so many good memories; getting into the FA Cup final in my first season and finishing so high in the league. And the way we escaped relegation that year was one of my fondest memories in football.
"I'm a much better player this time around and I can't wait to get cracking and show the fans that I can put in the performances on the pitch."
The flame-haired defender was first signed by Alan Pardew in a double-swoop on Cardiff along with fellow Welsh international Danny Gabbidon in the summer of 2005 following West Ham's return to the Premiership.
However he was sold to ease the club's financial worries in August 2009.
James Collins: Stat Zone
West Ham United
2005/06: Pld 19, Bkd 1, Gls 2.
2006/07: Pld 17, Bkd 4, Gls 0.
2007/08: Pld 5, Bkd 0, Gls 0.
2008/09: Pld 21, Bkd 4, Gls 0.
2009/10: Pld 3, Bkd 1, Gls 0.
2009/10: Pld 37, Bkd 6, Gls 2.
2010/11: Pld 37, Bkd 7, Gls 3.
2011/12: Pld 34, Bkd 7, Gls 1.
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06:17PM 1st Aug 2012
''Welcome back James, great to see players who WANT TO PLAY FOR THE IRONS coming in. I am sure you will hit the pitch in top form.''
05:59PM 1st Aug 2012
''Agree. Should never have sold him in the first place.''
11:54AM 1st Aug 2012
''Welcome back JC; not the marquee signing were all waiting for but will certainly put some strength back into an otherwise weak and shaky defence. COYI!''
by Andy Powell
09:13AM 1st Aug 2012
''Fantastic signing and a big welcome back to James - I believe that most of our recent problems date back to losing Collins, Ferdinand and McCartney.''
09:11AM 1st Aug 2012
''Oh no. James was never very secure at his peak. My Cardiff friends told me he was the better of the two when Danny Gabbidon and James first arrived. Danny went on to be Hammer of the Year whilst James was unable to stay on his feet or turn in any kind of reliable performance. Maybe, hopefully, it was just feeding off Matty Upson's enthusiasm which encouraged James to aspire to and deliver mediocre performances.
I really hope that he has upped his expectations of what is required to play for WHU. Strolling out of position is something that Collison and Tomkins both learnt from their elders a while back. At least Tomkins is now developing along the right lines - still some way to go.
Collison may just as well join the others at Burnley - although they are becoming a bit choosy now. Something that has continued to annoy me about Collins was his inability to head the ball on target - an inability he seemed to have encouraged within Tomkins. It was very frustrating seeing the man get his head to crosses just to see the ball looping into the crowd behind the posts.
I hope this spell with us, he will spend some time with meaningful practice to turn him into a player of which we can all be proud.
DO IT Jim Bob. Apply yourself. Earn the right to wear C&B - and then some. COYI.''
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