Tony Cottee Column: Fantastic Stoke win makes West Ham almost safe
PUBLISHED: 16:50 06 March 2013 | UPDATED: 18:46 06 March 2013
West Ham legend Tony Cottee is delighted for Jack Collison and believes that Saturday’s win makes the Hammers all but safe
I am going out on a limb here and I know that it is a dangerous thing to do, but I think that Saturday’s magnificent victory at Stoke City all but guarantees Premier League football at Upton Park next season.
I think it was a fantastic win. Stoke is never an easy place to go and we have a bad record there over the years and I did fear the worst when we went up there.
Sam would have done all his preparations during the week, but when you then lose two players in the first 11 minutes that can often throw the whole team off and can quickly turn into a nightmare.
So all credit to the players and to the boss. He brought on two very different players in Jack Collison and Ricardo Vaz Te and it was those two who combined for the winning goal.
It will not have been easy for either of them. They have not been playing and then you get thrown in at the deep end and you can’t be 100 per cent fit, but they both did superbly.
I have to say I am absolutely delighted for Jack. He has so much talent, but has had so many problems with his knee.
He is a really good lad too and it is great to see him doing so well and scoring goals.
Saturday’s win puts us on 33 points and I really think we only need four or five more.
Everyone talks about the magical 40-point mark, but if you look back at the Premier League statistics, most of the time you don’t need that many and I think it will be the same this year.
We are not playing at the weekend which will give us a chance to get some players back for the Chelsea game and though our rivals will be in action, some are playing each other so they can’t all win.
Let’s play Man United in May
This weekend’s scheduled clash with Manchester United has been postponed because of their FA Cup match and if I was the Hammers secretary I would be doing everything I could to arrange that match for sometime in May.
With United so far clear at the top, they should be champions by the time it comes to May and they could also still be in the Champions League. That could mean Sir Alex tinkering with his line-up and that could work to our advantage.
They have been brilliant this season, but we should have beaten them in the FA Cup and we would fancy our chances against a weakened team towards the end of the season.
It is Chelsea next though and the good news is that the game is on Sunday and the United game will be a midweek clash and that means I can go to both matches.
The bad news though is that I haven’t seen the Hammers win all season!
Let’s hope that changes.