Carlton Cole: An Apology

I have justifiably come under fire for my rating of Carlton Cole’s performance in my match report yesterday. Having now watched the match on TV I realise I made a huge error. It just goes to show how you can miss things and be influenced by the crowd around you – who, to a man, agreed with my assessment.

It’s easy to understimate the contribution of a player like Cole. Because he looks very awkward at times, and doesn’t threaten the goal in the manner of a traditional striker, you tend to miss what else he contributes. He also looks so languid, that the effort he puts in goes unnoticed.

Anyway, I hold my hands up. I got it wrong. It happens!


26 Responses to Carlton Cole: An Apology

  1. Paul Anderson says:

    Hats off to you for changing your view. I have to say I have been immensely impressed by Cole’s work rate and fitness levels. Its evident that he keeps himself extremely fit and he has trimmed done since he first joined the club. Also, he seems to have an excellent attitude.

    When he first came on the scene at Chlesea he showed a great deal of promise, and I believe the possibility exists that he will add a little flair and a few goals to his play

    If the whole team had his work ethos, there would be much less to complain about.

  2. colney says:

    we all make mistakes ian ,no worries.he is a frustrating player to watch i admit but it would all be so different if he popped in 18-20 goals a season with all the other work he does. whats all this crap about 16 mill for ashton from villa then?

    im ashamed t say that for the next 70 minutes im wanting the west london tnucs to win.please forgive me.

  3. North West Hammer says:

    Top marks for your honesty Iain. Interesting that you mention how easy it is to be influenced by the views of those around you.
    I have to admit I am starting to be a convert where Cole is concerned, a absolute lesson in how to keep grafting and beat the boo-boys.

  4. kyle says:

    Good man.

  5. chubby hammer says:

    well done for back tracking … I was in the toilet before the game & when the team was read out the bloke next to me booed carlton coles name & then went on to shout & swear … this was before the game !!! Oh & by the way he also watered my shoes & didn’t wash his hands !!!

  6. Connor says:

    hes not even that good, all he is, is presence..

    hes not a premiership striker.

  7. Sam H says:

    you are right that he is a frustrating player to watch! but at the end of the day his work ethic is second to none, and has been for the past two seasons

  8. david says:

    I went to the match yesterday with my little brother. And as he waited for autographs from his Hero’s, Lucas neil then signed his ticket slip. Some idiot next to my brother then decided to verbally abuse neil. To which neil replyed with and you call your self a west ham supporter. And I must agree with the Aussie, stop booing players and abusing them when their names get called out, or call them horrible names when they stay behind after a match to sign autographs. Let’s get behind our team. There are enough people and other supporters who want to slate and hate us, let’s not do it to our own.

  9. salmon79 says:

    Fair play hats of to you. Impressed with your honesty unlike that that from Westhamonline.

  10. salmon79 says:

    I meant to say that t@?t from Westhamonline.

  11. Ind says:

    iain – you are right to temper your initial view but i wouldn’t backtrack quite that far. MOTD always pick the best (or worst) bits. yes cole is tireless. and yesterday he did at least win some balls in the air. but he does not score enough goals and his ball control is not great. so good squad player – who we can’t afford to sell without replacing – but premiership? not so sure. i bet zamora will score more for fulham. 6 points might have been fairer. personally yesterday was most memorable for Curbishley making positive substitutions. long may it last

  12. Rob says:

    well played, Coley had a hell of a game. good for you to correct your view.

  13. Tony says:

    Cole had a good game yesterday thats why I think Curbishley took off Ashton and for the reason that Cole works harder.
    Cole is not top class but is a good squad player and will do a job.
    Congratulations Iain admitting your wrong and coming out on here and saying it, next Maggie Thatcher?
    You do get two different perspectives on watching sport live and watching it on tv.

  14. Goatygav says:

    Haven’t read your initial report however I believe Cole should move on. He’s never really fulfilled his promise at West Ham and I strongly believe it’s in the interests of both him and the club that he leave for pastures new.

    Don’t get me wrong – I like the bloke’s commitment and effort however he’s just not West Ham. I’m sure he’d do better at the likes of Bolton where his height and strength would suit their direct style of play.

  15. brooking still the best says:

    It happens that you get things wrong, well I reckon alot of people got it wrong when they was slagging the team, the manager and everything else last week.

    The same people will do the same the next time we get beat, I guess they all forget after the win what their gripes are.

    I am glad the witch hunt for Curbishley has dulled for a while, long may that continue because that will mean we are winning games.

    I can not understand why you and alot of others like to single players out for special treatment. I wathced the game again on sky today, what really was so wrong with Neils performance, week after week he gets a slating from you? Cole in another, he never gets a good word from you. I know they are not our best players but we have had far, far worse.

    I urge everyone to get behind the team, the manager and start supporting like a true Hammers! C.O.Y.I

  16. Plaistow54 says:

    Iain, i don’t think that you were so much wrong, as maybe a bit harsh. He wasn’t anonymous. He’s an assist striker really. He holds the ball up. Carlton does that very well, but in front of goal he isn’t as clinical as the likes of Ashton & Bellamy. Up till December last season he had the same assists as Cesc Fabregas. He had laid on six goals. Fabregas was influential in Euro 2008. Cole is big gangly fellow like Crouch. Looks awkward at times. He did miss a couple on Saturday, one a clear header but he did get the ball in the net late. That always helps confidence. One reason i personally think he is worth it is because of his attitude last year when getting booed. He rode it out. He wants to play for us. That must have been hard. Once things settle a bit, i think you’ll see some good things from Carlton Cole. Nice of you to say that you may have been a bit tough on him.

  17. scott says:

    Has everyone gone mad? I can’t see how anyone that goes to these games has thought CC has played well. All i saw was a player unable to control the ball which meant everytime we moved forward and it was played to him play broke down and we were having to defend again. It always takes him 2 or 3 attempts to control it. he has no vision, no real pace, doesnt score enough, 6ft4 and hardly ever wins a header, when he does it rolls on to their keeper (try knockin it down to one of our men now and again). The only thing i would say is that he does work hard. So hard that in the second half on saturday he looked tired, so curbs takes deano off instead? I must be missing something. Iain. you were right the first time!

  18. Chris says:

    The only problem with your player rankings was the 9 you gave Callum Davenport. I think he’ll play some good games for us and eventhough he scored, he was responsible for getting blown past on the only goal. Cole holds up the ball very well, but his 5 was deserved for his inability to go forward in possesion and his ability to squander more chances in a match than Adebeyor. For all the the things he does well (hold up play, defense, occasional slick pass) he does so much wrong (makes bad runs, mostly belligerent passing, poor first touch, poor instincts when playing off the ball).

  19. aussihammer says:

    talk about mood changes, first Davenport, he is only 25 and has a lack of match practice but I believe has the makings of a very good centre half, more so than ferdinand anyway, those doubters may just be proved wrong this year. Secondly Carlton Cole is simply not a good enough player for this league or infact the team even though we are short. Yes he gives 100% but then if you have no real skill you have to make up for that with effort. Zamora always gave 100% and in my opinion is a far better player than Cole but we let him go. This reverts back to AC who I believe is doing a good job with the players available but my critism would be that his attitude is old fashioned. Just because someone tries hard they should not be given the nod ahead of someone with ability. Ashton has fits and starts but he can create something from nothing, Carlton Cole has been given every opportunity, and not just at WHU to prove himself and despite his best efforts has failed. I am sure that he would be an asset and value for money to Stoke, Hull, WBA, Bolton and give them some much needed Premiership experience and to be honest at 4million a good investment. At WHU however we are looking to move forward and challenge for 5-8 place and Cole is not going to provide the goals for that. Even Curbs stated last year that Ashton and Cole can’t play together so why does he persist. Why not try Hines or Sears from the start with Ashton. Hopefully this will be forgotten as Bellamy appears to be getting back to his best and the obvious start will be him with Ashton.
    We do need to ship him out however in order to add something new and different although I hope it is not Larson, surely someone a little younger is available. I would like K Doyle to be brought in, he knows the premiership, has little injury background and does know where the goal is.
    One day left and we do not appear any closer to bringing in these 2-3 players Curbs mentioned. Perhaps when you have no money and are only looking at loan deals the options are not so good. The score was flattering Saturday and had either the disallowed goal or the penalty gone in I have concerns over our confidence to bounce back.
    Ian, perhaps the apology was needed perhaps not but there is a very good reason that everyone around you was looking to be negative towards Cole, perhaps something to do with his goal per game rate over the last 30 matches. Simply put, a striker is there to score goals and Cole just doesn’t on a regular basis. Do you think Aston Villa, Everton, Portsmouth and Man City would be interested in buying him? if not then that sais it all as these are the teams we are really trying to compete with.

  20. danny bee says:

    Cole would struggle to score goals in the Championship,his second touch is a tackle! Anyone that thinks he is good enough probably thinks Curbishley is a good manager too.Lets face facts,this season if we have Ashton and Bellamy up front we could end up top 8 if we don’t we could end up bottom 8.

  21. OhioHammer says:

    Carlton Cole is a top lad. Met him in Columbus back in July. Nice kid, works hard and is a quality player. I fancy having him on the squad for depth. Obviously when Ashton and Bellamy are both fit they should have the run out but Cole is a nice, big, strong, tall striker to come in later and perhaps get his head on one as the defense get weary minds and heavy legs.

    To be honest, I don’t know why we keep trying to buy every Tom, Dick and Striker in the free world when it’s our defense that’s absolute rubbish. Our back four is pants! We need two, not one quality player(1 CB, 1LB) to add to the back four. I’ll take Cole up front any day. He creates matchup problems on set pieces and works hard defensively which you don’t always get from today’s rich boy strikers.

  22. Mike says:

    Calton cole won SO many balls in the air saturday, he scared the life our of them.
    He also provided an outlet when blackburn started to get on top.

    Ashton, sears, hines,bellamy – NONE of these have any physical presence in the box.
    He makes space for others to come in behind in the vacuum he creates.

    His first touch stinks and he isnt an natural goal scorer, he scuffs too many shots.
    I think this might be that he just isnt relaxed because of some sections of the crowd arent as willing to see whats in front of them.

    I dont see him as our first choice striker, but he does offer somethign completely different to everything else we have.

    Blackburn were a VERY physical side (dirty I’d say – Jason roberts how he stayed on is a mystery). We would have buckled under that with lightweight strikers on the pitch.
    Ashton doesnt fancy that side of things.

    For that game by the way the role of special mentions should also go to

    Green – Kept us in it when things got busy

    Davenport – a little lightweight but won loads in the air.

    Parker – Made room where there wasnt any loads of times, hardly gave the ball away.

    Faubert – WHAT a dead ball expert that guy is…

    WHO do we need?

    Its FULL BACKS and CREATIVE midfeilders we need

  23. alex says:

    we seem to have a lot of idiot bling, blairite, results now win the league or else, shallow booing supporters at the mo. Booing curbs has gone too far and is following our sorry and pre meditated media, neil is just class and since when do we boo hard working players who get stuck in? if cole was named paris we’d have a chant. And georgie sent a few over the stadium roof.

    good chants and an atmosphere to be proud of, are we still capable? although i have to say the fat eddie murphy chant was inspired.

  24. Eastender says:

    Agree with aussihammer in that Davenport is still getting match fit and is always looking to score and has a superior strike rate now to Anton given number of games played for the Hammers.

    Bobby Z is a better player than CC which is reflected by the fact that Fulham were prepared to pay more money for him than Sunderland or Stoke will pay for CC.

    It is also true that pairing Ashton up with most of the other available strikers does not seem to gel. Bellamy is the key (if remaining fit) plus a.n. other not necessarily Deano as first choice along side him. Problem now is we appear to be too late to get any other quality strikers in place so we are stuck with CC as a squad player as selling him now would further reduce AC options.

  25. Lamb Behrami says:

    Had you gone to the Macclesfield game Iain….which you should have…. you would have been in a different frame of mind in regards to judging Coles performance against Blackburn. When he game on against Macclesfield, he thankfully changed the game – Reid and Faubert made large contributions but Cole was the chief instigator.

    There was me thinking that now that LBM is not getting games, you were looking for someone new to pick on….Cole was the wrong choice.

  26. DaDon says:

    WTF is ‘belligerent passing’?!

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