West Ham United is a club full to the brim of history, pride and passion. A club that has made heads turn since its humble beginnings back in 1895.
Season after season, no matter what names are on the team sheet, you are guaranteed to be caught out by the Irons. Whether it be a shock 3-0 away win at White Hart Lane, or even the grants to a state of the art sports arena with a capacity of 60,000 seats. As a Hammer there is never a dull moment.
So, Tottenham Hotspur 0-3 West Ham United! Music to any Hammer’s ears. A truly fantastic performance from our boys from start to end. We looked like a team again, working together to get the job done. Sensational.
However, one thing that I noticed on Sunday in particular was that it wasn’t our so called big name players that made the difference. Yes, Ravel Morrison scored arguably the best individual goal of a West Ham player in a long while but, I can’t help but feel as though some of our other players are being cast aside too promptly.
Take Jussi Jääskeläinen for example. So far this season he has accomplished four clean sheets out of a possible seven and has regularly saved the Irons at crucial times. If Jussi had not of saved spectacularly against the inform Jermaine Defoe when the tie was currently goalless at Spurs, could we have seen an onslaught from the opposite persuasion?
Most probably, as Spurs will undoubtably of had the wind in their sails and will have completely dissected what will have been a deflated Hammers back four. And so, in my opinion, the Barclays Premier League’s statistically fourth best goalkeeper for the 2012/13 season, deserves a lot more kudos for his consistently outstanding performances between the sticks.
Another player in which I consider an unsung hero, in light of his never say die, gutsy performance against Spurs at the weekend, is local lad James Tomkins. Winston Reid is known as the heart of the Hammers defence, but James Tomkins showed his worth on Sunday in true East-End style.
Grafting hard at the back all game, making some vital interceptions both from the ground and from the air, preventing Defoe from getting that all important, clear cut chance on goal. Not only did ‘Tommo’ defend with guts and dedication, he also proved a threat at set pieces going forward, rising higher than Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson on numerous occasions, forcing Hugo Lloris to make crucial – off the line – saves, notably nearly netting once as Lloris made a despairing save to his near post, before seeing the ball go out of play. So with performances like this, it makes you wonder as to why he isn’t given a regular starting place in Sam Allardyce’s team?
And finally, Mohamed Diame. Last season ‘Momo’ was the star of the show as far as Hammers fans were concerned – me included. However, with the rise of youngster Ravel Morrison, Diame has been pushed out of the limelight and thus not receiving the credit he is due for his contribution to the team.
With A lacklustre Mark Noble, a lost Kevin Nolan (without front man Andy Carroll) and Joe Cole hindered with reoccurring hamstring problems, Mo Diame has had to lead by example in the middle of the field, making essential tackles when needed and bombing forward terrorising the opposition defences on a regular basis, living up to his ‘Beast’ title.
The work he does for the Irons has gone seemingly unnoticed this season, and yet I feel this season he is showing signs of being an all round top player. I say this in light of his performance (once again) at White Hart Lane. Holding the midfield, turning defence into attack time and time again. A perfect example of this is the build up to Morrison’s show stopper. Here we saw an abundance of pressure from Spurs, ended by a rash clearance by Winston Reid. Diame plucked the ball out of the air, showing excellent control and skill, before executing a perfect ball for Rav’ to make the run.
So for me Jussi, Tommo & Momo changed the game for West Ham and were deservedly my unsung Hammers heroes! Three players who mean so much to the foundations of our great football team, but seemingly don’t receive the acknowledgments they deserve for what they do week in week out.
Come On You Irons!