Tony Cottee: West Ham front line looks threatening

Strikers look dangerous but defensive frailties remain for the Hammers

Most people would have taken a point before the match against Birmingham, but to go two goals up and then give that up would have been devastating.

There were so many positives to take from the match, we were excellent for an hour dominated the game and probably played the best we have all season.

It was so encouraging to see Carlton Cole play so well and dominate the opposition back line.

Scott Dann and Roger Johnson are good defenders but he made them both look pretty average and gave an exhibition of how to play as the perfect target man.

You may also want to watch:

What helped was the willingness of the midfield to get and help Cole and Valon Behrami’s goal was a great example of this.

It was the best I had seen Valon and Carlton play in quite some time and it is key both players get playing time and encouragement because they are very much confidence players.

Most Read

Cole’s performance and Behrami’s goal would have helped the pair no end with regard to self-belief and now it is up to the duo and those around them to make sure they continue to head in the right direction.

I am not a big fan of the three up front, like I have said many times before and I am not completely sure if you get the most out of Freddie Piquionne on the right, but he played well out there and Victor Obinna caused all sorts of headache’s with his pace and direct style of play.

It seems to be working at the moment and after struggling to create chances and score goals Saturday was a breath of fresh air.

It was disappointing to see us through away a two-goal and in the end we were quite lucky to get away with a point after Danny Gabbidon blocked an effort off the line which he forced onto the bar.

It would have been harsh on the Hammers but the defensive and perhaps mental frailties were there for all to see.

Winning is a habit and we have not been picking up victories, while that coupled with the fact we have not won in 24 matches on the road might have been playing at the back of the players’ minds, especially when Cameron Jerome halved the deficit for Birmingham.

The defensive problems have to be sorted and although Manuel Da Costa is likely to return against Blackpool, until we go on a run of clean sheets the question marks over the back line are unlikely to go away.

Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner

For all the Latest West Ham news, interviews, analysis and matchday updates follow us on twitter at

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter