Tony Cottee: A rest will do West Ham some good after our poor start

PUBLISHED: 10:34 02 September 2010

Kieron Dyer was excellent for West Ham at old Trafford

Kieron Dyer was excellent for West Ham at old Trafford


Tony Cottee discusses all things West Ham in his exclusive East london Advertiser column

THE defeat against Manchester United means we have now made our worst start to a season since 1977 and apart from a couple of individual showings we were poor on the night.

Kieron Dyer was the stand-out performer and the midfielder put in a really good performance.

He was the only player willing to travel with the ball and take on players and he was by far our most creative performer on the night, with his pace causing United a host of problems.

He hit the post, beat players for fun and it is such a shame that his career has been blighted by injuries, because he showed what a performer he can be.

I was also impressed by what I saw in Danny Gabbidon, who was our best defender on the night.

The Welsh centre-half read the game well and made key interceptions and tackles, which I felt saved us from conceding even more.

I am a big fan of his and what I like is his consistency, something we have lacked since James Collins left the club.

We approached the game in a negative mind-set, starting with 4-5-1, leaving Carlton Cole alone up front as a target man.

There was such a big gap between the midfield and the strikers which provided Carlton with such little support.

I really do feel for Carlton, because as I know myself having led the line on my own, it is the hardest job in the World.

He was winning flick-ons and holding the ball up, but received such little support that we could not press the opposition.

Because of the lack of outlets we often gave the ball away too cheaply. On a few occasions a midfielder would have the ball and because Carlton would have two men on him there would be nobody to pass to, so we would lose the ball and again be under the cosh.

I am not saying we should have gone there all guns blazing, but it was disappointing to see us lose possession so cheaply so often.

Not many would have thought we would get anything at Old Trafford and I see these type of matches as bonus games because they are not hugely relevant to our final league position.

Although we are only three games into the season I believe a rest is a good thing for us right now.

It gives boss Avram Grant time to reassess the squad and try and find a team and formation to get us that vital first win, or even first point because as long as we remain rooted to the bottom of the table the more the pressure is piled on.

Three defeats on the spin cannot be good for morale and a break takes the spotlight away from the club for a short space of time.

Defensively we have been poor and it would have given the boss time to try and sort it out.

Unfortunately, I expect three of the back four who played on Saturday (Matthew Upson, Danny Gabbidon and Jon Spector) will be away with their countries, while Robert Green is injured.

Our first game back is another bonus game as we take on Chelsea at Upton Park.

Nobody expects us to take anything from the game, although hopefully a lot of their players will be tired because of international matches, while Frank Lampard could even miss out.

It leaves the door open for West Ham to get something from the game, but even then the odds are against us.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 18:12

Lee Westwood is optimistic that the European Tour’s planned resumption at the Betfred British Masters will go ahead in July.

Yesterday, 16:00

West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan is to make a personal donation to Newham Foodbank of £3,500, to cover the shortfall in matchday donations from the five postponed home matches from Irons Supporting Foodbanks.

Yesterday, 14:00

Players from West Ham United’s Academy of Football are keeping track of their fitness programmes, while at the same time raising money in aid of King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity, to support their inspiring local NHS heroes in East London and Essex.

Yesterday, 10:00

Leyton Orient chief executive Danny Macklin heaped praise on Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane by terming him as a ‘first-class individual’

Yesterday, 07:35

The International Cricket Council (ICC)’s recommendation of a temporary ban on using saliva to shine the ball could hand batsmen a significant advantage, claims Australia paceman Mitchell Starc.

Mon, 16:02

The 2019-20 Women’s Super League season has been brought to an end with immediate effect.

Mon, 13:00

Premier League clubs will vote on proposals for a return to contact training on Wednesday.

Mon, 12:00

With sport still shut down across most of the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic, why not test your sporting knowledge with another quiz?


The Government has announced an unprecedented package of support to protect jobs and support business across the UK during the coronavirus outbreak.

People working for a wide range of private companies have been standing side-by-side with public sector staff on the front line during the coronavirus outbreak.

The United Kingdom is pulling together as one, with people from all regions and all four nations of the country helping each other through the coronavirus pandemic.

Most read sport


A competition for wannabe writers has been started to add works to Canary Wharf’s ‘short story’ dispensers which are temporarily locked up by the lock down.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser