West Ham’s Cole on that lone striker role
12:00 19 August 2014
Hammers striker Carlton Cole is hoping for more chances after the disappointment of Tottenham defeat
It took him until October last season to get fit and get his chance for the Hammers, so for Carlton Cole to return a tally of six goals for the campaign was a decent effort.
This time round he has been thrust into the limelight from the start. Andy Carroll is out injured and it would seem that neither new signings Mauro Zarate or Enner Valencia are equipped for the lone striker, holding up role that manager Sam Allardyce insists on having in his team.
In the end on Saturday it proved a frustrating afternoon for the big striker. He was left isolated at times, but as usual, he never stopped working and never stopped causing problems for the Tottenham defence, but in the end it was all to no avail.
“It was a sickener,” said the 30-year-old after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat. “We worked so hard to get into that position and though I thought they played well with 10 men, I still thought we had enough to win the game.
“But it was a sucker punch at the end that killed us off. We don’t want to be feeling that again, because it was not pleasant.”
Cole has scored 65 goals in claret and blue, but he was left frustrated at his lack of chances on Saturday.
“I just have to really try up there and be a workhorse really and if I get a sniff of a chance I have to try and take them,” said Cole of his role. “That is the way we set up to play and I had a few moments when I could have swivelled and turned, but I didn’t really get the clear-cut chance which is a bit disappointing.
“We try and create chances and try to score and for me if I don’t score or miss a chance then it is disappointing, but I didn’t really get that chance against Spurs.”
Many have criticised the manager for leaving strikers on their own up front with an almost impossible task, but Cole thinks that will improve as the season gets going.
“Sometimes you can get a bit isolated in a game, but that is when you need your support to come up,” he said. “As the boys get fitter, I will get more support as the season goes on.”
Cole felt for team-mate Mark Noble as he missed the vital penalty that would have put the Hammers in front and he admitted that was the turning point.
“Of course it was,” he said. “I’ve missed a penalty before so I know how ‘Nobes’ is feeling, but we will take it as a team. He is Mr Reliable with the penalties and when you see that, it does knock the stuffing out of you.
“We created a lot of chances, but we couldn’t quite finish them off and then came the sucker punch.”
The second turning point in the match came when James Collins received a second yellow card to make it 10 against 10 after Kyle Naughton’s straight red in the first half.
Cole did not agree with the decision.
“I thought it was soft to get a sending off, but I am not going to blame the ref, that is just the way the game goes sometimes,” he said. “Hopefully we don’t make the same mistakes again. We need to get this loss out of the system, get this disappointment out of the way and we now need to look forward to a brighter beginning to the season.”
West Ham certainly played well on Saturday, but they ended up without a point and Cole knows that decent performances mean nothing if the points don’t follow.
“We matched them, but at the end of the day it is a results game and they got the goal right at the end that killed us off,” he said.
“Sometimes it is just the margins in this league and we failed that against Tottenham, but we definitely deserved a point.”