Saturday, March 01, 2008

West Ham - 'Fortune's Always Hiding'

The starting eleven today were probably the team I would have gone with myself, so I have no criticisms of Alan Curbishley. It was just one of those days.

On a more general note though I would like to ask whether West Ham's future lies with Cole or Ashton?

Carlton Cole has done a brilliant job for West Ham this season and Ashton has looked unfit and has not performed that well when he has been given the opportunity.

There have been rumours about Ashton being unhappy at being left out of the team. Whether the rumours are true or not we must be in danger of losing Ashton if he is continually left out of the starting line up.

For me Curbishley (and the West Ham boo boys) have to give Ashton some starts and accept he is going to put in some poor performances before he rediscovers his touch. Cole despite his excellent performances this season isn't going to take the club forward. Ashton, if he rediscovers his pre-injury form, could. Let's give Ashton some starts now.

8 Comments:

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous portugal said...

to begin, i did not agree with curbishley s decision to not start solano, as faubert is neither fit,nor experienced enough in the English league to warrant starting against a side like Chelsea.

As for the Ashton vs Cole debate,I disagree strongly with Kier on this one. I think Kier s first sentence on the issue says it all- that Carlton has done really well this season, and Ashton ,when given the opportunity has performed poorly. and I ll add, Ashton has also shown a poor work rate ,which is most worrying.

Accepting and condoning poor performances from Ashton to me is not the answer, as it sends out the wrong message. And it also contradicts Curbishley s own belief(accurate in my view) that it s very difficult for a Premiership player to "play himself into fitness in the first team."

As disspiriting as the Chelsea result and performance were,the season is far from over. West Ham have a responsibility to finish as high up the table as possible,whether that means we fall short of a Uefa slot or not. The higher we finish,the more money we recieve at the end of the season ,which we could use over the summer in building the squad.
A firm top half finish, preferably 8th or 9th worst ,would be something to build upon,for all connected to the club- and that should not be jeopardized by starting Ashton now to placate him.

As for Carlton Cole either being one of a number of players to take us forward ,or at least have a significant supporting role? He s 24 years old, improving,and most importantly ,has shown an impeccable attitude this season. Yes,I m disappointed that his goal tally is not even near double figures. But I think he deserves to be judged on the basis of playing alongside a fit and capable striking partner ,such as Bellamy or Dyer. To judge him to be not of a standard to take us forward ,based upon performing largely in a lone striker role, I feel is unfair. If Cole had been playing all season alongside Bellamy for example, and in a team that included Solano as a starter every week ,and still had under 10 goals ,then I d agree with Kier s assessment. Call me stubborn,but I think Cole deserves the benefit of the doubt. And I m losing faith in whether Ashton does.

 
At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also disagree with Kier as well. Ashton could be a truly great player but I think he is too heavy now and if a good offer comes in he should be allowed to leave. Cole on the other hand is tremendously athletic and when he turns up in an England squad peple will start to see him anew. His only fault is in not scoring enough but I remember that being said of Drogba in his first season and look at him this year and last. Someone to fit in alongside Cole is what we need...

 
At 1:14 PM, Anonymous greendressinDUBLIN said...

first of all, just look at dean ashton. physically, which footballer can get away with being as "plump" as he is? does he seem hungry? could he possibly outrun opponents in the top clubs looking like that? does he have any respect for his teammates or feel any responsibility to the team?

regarding the game itself:
1) was the team just in awe of being on the same pitch as chelsea's players so that they could not concentrate on actually playing against them? i don't ask that question to be rude. after the last celtics vs. barcelona game, the player that played against ronaldinho when interviewed said that he had a hard time even playing because he was in awe of the type and level of football ronaldinho played. which left his coach to respond, "we are not here for tourism."
i like the honesty of the player and wonder how often this actually happens in games.

2) was the team coached during the week to play this specific team?

3) did the team just practice too hard during the week so that they had nothing to give during the actual game?

 
At 1:39 PM, Anonymous portugal said...

i think the anonymous comment regarding cole is spot on in the sense of his athleticism ,and the view that with the right partner,his end product could improve dramatically. And that "right partner" may involve purchasing a striker,so that we are not so reliant on Bellamy. When fit, Bellamy seems outstanding,but i suspect he is going to have ongoing fitness issues even after the operation.

I also agree with the attitudinal assessment of Ashton put forth by dublin. Ashton does not look hungry ,and I agree that this may reflect a lack of sufficient respect for his teammates. It is this which bothers me more than the various individual faults in his game at the moment.

Finally ,I don t think dublin s comment on us being a bit in awe,or fearful of Chelsea yesterday is too far off the mark.I got a sense that the players were a bit apprehensive of a backlash from the Carling Cup result. I m also left unsure as to how much the team was prepared specifically for Chelsea,because how else would Ballack ,for example,had the space available to him, on more than one occassion?

 
At 3:53 PM, Blogger Keir Clarke said...

Seems I'm firmly in the minority here. I still think Ashton has the potential to be a great striker and I think Curbishley has to use him or lose him.

 
At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wel i agree that ashton is always going to be better than cole if ashton can get that little bit sharper then he will be good he just gives so so many free kicks away

as for who plays alongside cole boa morte isnt the answer it would have been better imo to play ashton and replace him with zamora after about 70 mins if not before i dont fault boa efforts but hes not scoring and i would have rather seen him on the left with lungberg on the right

 
At 10:22 AM, Anonymous portugal said...

the anonymous response from 11.03 p.m. hit on a couple interesting points.

1- i think the problem is that it is not just a cae of Ashton needing to be " a little bit sharper." whats required is that he be CARTLOADS sharper. He hasn t been within a country mile of being near sharp enough, and therein lies the dissatisfaction of many fans, myself included.

2- as is blindingly obvious ,I m a strong backer of carlton cole. that said, I freely admit that Ashton is in "in theory" the much better finisher of the 2, but unfortunately this season, there has been little hard evidence to support the theory.

3- giving away free kicks is just one of the issues with Ashton at the moment. Others wud include being caught offsides, subpar first touch at times, inconsistent accuracy of passes, inability to track back and defend ,or to pressure fullbacks when we lose possession,inability to win headers,inability to turn himself around quickly enuf to get a shot on target , and inconsistency in accuracy of shots on goal. so the question is ,are all these deficencies worth paying the price for,in exchange for the occassional matchwinner Ashton comes up with? And is his Premiership potential , as yet unproven due to only playing for approx one season cumulatively over the last 3,enough to suggest that these current deficiencies can be rectified?

Another question is, does it have to be all or nothing? Is it really the case that if we don t use the player now ,that we risk losing him in the summer ,or is teh player adult enough to tak eon board that he has to earn his place with results and workrate,ANYWHERE, not just at WHU. And is it necessarily the case ,that the club should view the situation as "now or never"? Meaning is it wise for the club to take the view that if we can t get the best out of the player by the end of this season, that we should cash in and look for someone better in the summer? To me there are not clear-cut answers at this point. Were the player to truly feel hard done by ,and genuinely sour over his lack of first team football, then the answers to these questions wud be clearer. In that scenario ,then,yes ,it wu dbe best for all concerned if he was sold. But has it really come down to that yet ? I think that from the player s perspective, that wud be very premature.

difficult to resolve ,this, and it snot looking like getting any clearer in terms of a solution, until and unless th eplayer himself, starts to make a noticeable improvement, at a minimum ,in attitude, if nothing else. I don t deny he has potential- but can we afford to wait? that is teh 10 to 15 million pound question.

 
At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

Kier, I'm on your side mate!

No matter how plump Ashton is, the man spent a year and a half out of football. I wouldn't expect a miraculous recovery.

While I like watching Cole fight, the quality just isn't there. Deano's outscoring Cole for the season, and you need more than 3 goals in 19 starts from a striker.

When Ashton came on against Chelsea, it looked to me he had something to prove. I think if he starts this Wednesday we might in for an unexpected surprise.

I'd like to see Cole and Ashton up front, because I might commit suicide if I have to watch LBM make a couple of nice plays only to lose the ball or play another horrid through ball.

Chris, NYC

 

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