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Tony Cottee Column: West Ham have to start taking their chances

PUBLISHED: 17:22 20 March 2013 | UPDATED: 20:07 20 March 2013

Tony Cottee

Tony Cottee

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West Ham legendary goalscorer wants to see the Hammers more clinical in front of goal

Missed chances cost us dear again at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and though I don’t think it would necessarily have got us anything out of the game against a very good Chelsea team, it is certainly a worrying trend.

Maybe if Andy Carroll’s goal had been allowed it would have been a very different story and I thought at the time that it was a very soft foul for the referee to give.

If that goes in and with all the half chances we created in the second half, who knows what might have happened?

Chelsea are a very impressive team though and I suppose when you spend around £100 million just in pre-season, then they should be!

When you have players like Juan Mata, Oscar, Eden Hazard and Frank Lampard in your midfield, you are always going to be a danger.

Hats off to Frank after he scored his 200th goal for Chelsea from midfield on Sunday.

I don’t know if it says how old I am or how long I played for, but I played with Frank senior when I was first starting my West Ham career and with Frank junior when I was coming to the end of my Hammers career.

I was lucky enough to meet them both again at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

I remember him coming through the youth set-up at West Ham and everyone saying he was only there because of his dad, but I think he has proved everyone wrong and had a truly magnificent career. To score all those goals from midfield is a phenomenal achievement.

When he first came through, it was about the same time as Rio Ferdinand and I think that Rio stuck out more for me in those days – perhaps because I had to try and get round him in training!

I don’t think any West Ham fan could have predicted just how successful he has been.

Don’t take the banter away

There has been a lot said about the incidents between Lampard, John Terry and the West Ham fans and though I don’t condone things being thrown at players, it is important to remember that it was a small minority.

Frank has always been a target for West Ham fans since he left, but I think if you sat those fans behind the goal down and ask them what sort of player they think Frank is, they would all say that he is top quality.

You don’t boo the bad players on the opposition side, only the good ones and it is a similar thing with Terry.

I think Terry was playing up to the West Ham fans and having a laugh and a joke with them and you would expect the fans to give him some back.

I thought it was funny and largely harmless. It would be a dark day if we took all the banter out of football, that’s for sure.

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