Tony Cottee Column: West Ham owe a lot to Green for their fantastic away results

“Having a quality keeper in your side can be as good as having a top goalscorer.”

What a superb result Saturday's win at Hull was for the Hammers. And it certainly looks like we owe a lot to Robert Green for making sure we got the three points.

The England keeper was in inspirational form, and some of the saves he was pulling off were world class.

You don't see many Premier League keepers making saves like those, let alone in the Championship.

Green has been a real asset to West Ham and some of the goals he has prevented this season already have saved the Hammers from dropping valuable points.


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I have always said that having a quality keeper in your side can be as good as having a goalscorer, and luckily for West Ham it looks as though they have both in Green and young Sam Baldock.

At the moment, it seems that Baldock can’t stop scoring, which is great news for the Hammers.

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He is the first real goalscorer that the club have had since they sold Jermain Defoe and I think that he has a really big future in the game.

There were some doubts over whether he would be able to make the step up from League One to the Championship, but he has proved he has what it takes to score lots of goals in this league.

If the Hammers are to get promoted, then I expect Baldock to score plenty in the Premier League too.

When West Ham signed him, he was not a League One player, he has too much quality for that, and that is what we are seeing now.

He has been given a chance to show what he can do in the Championship, and he has grabbed it with both hands and he has been outstanding for the Hammers, scoring five goals already.

Another striker who really impressed me on Saturday was Carlton Cole, and I thought that he really changed the game for West Ham.

Cole has been struggling with injury for the past month or so, but on his day I honestly believe he is a real handful and when he is on top form he is unstoppable.

Cole created both goals on Saturday and it was a pleasure to see that side of his game too.

People don’t appreciate the vision and awareness that is part of Carlton's game and the second Hammers goal showed that when he set up Jack Collison.

I was really pleased for Jack to score on Saturday, he is a really lovely lad and it's about time that he had some good fortune.

It was a disappointing time for him when he got injured, and it has taken a while for him to get back into the side, and I am sure that he will be the first to admit that he is still not on top of his game, but that will come with time.

The Hammers were only on top at Hull for 20 minutes, but they scored two goals to secure three points in that time, and that is the sign of a good team.

Going away in the Championship, West Ham will have to weather storms and then score when they are on top.

The Hammers are a big scalp in this division, so teams will want to beat them.

It is a welcome surprise to see a West Ham team that know how to win away from home, though.

If our away form carries on like this, that alone could well see us promoted.

They say that if you win your home games and draw away then you will get promoted, yet the Hammers seem to be doing the exact opposite!

Some West Ham fans have expressed their worry about Southampton's current form and the fact that they are five points clear of us, but I am not concerned.

Southampton can run away with the league if they want, as long as West Ham finish second and get promoted.

It is a big psychological boost for the Hammers to go into the international break in second place, and it gives everyone associated with the club a good feeling.

Hopefully after the break we will see some of our injured players return to action, which will be a welcome sight.

Tony Cottee was talking to Nathaniel John

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