December 21 2013 Latest news:
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
West Ham’s Ricardo Vaz Te can build bridges with the rest of the squad
»West Ham captain Kevin Nolan insists that wantaway striker Ricardo Vaz Te is still very much part of the Hammers squad.
The 26-year-old slapped in a transfer request last week fed up with being played out of position or not at all.
But when a proposed loan move to Norwich City fell through on deadline day on Monday, the Portuguese front man was left in limbo at the club.
But Nolan has dangled the olive branch to the player that shot them back into the Premier League with a dozen Championship goals, including the winner at Wembley.
“Obviously we had the Ricardo Vaz Te incident last week, but hopefully he can just knuckle down and fight for his place now,” said the West Ham skipper.
“It is about us making sure he knows he is still wanted here. At the end of the day we are a tight knit group and we were surprised by it, but that’s football and that’s life.”
Vaz Te scored on his first start of the season in the 2-1 Capital One Cup victory over Cheltenham Town last week.
He thumped in a stunning free kick, but seemed to celebrate angrily towards the bench after it hit the net.
Two days later he issued a statement saying that he was asking for a transfer.
“Hopefully now we can put it all to bed and he can get back amongst the lads, because we’re all waiting with open arms,” said Nolan as the team jetted off to Barcelona for a friendly clash with Espanyol scheduled for tonight (Thursday).
“We’re all looking to put it behind us and for him to show he wants to be part of this fantastic football club, which I’m sure he does.”
Vaz Te last started in the final game of last season, scoring in the 4-2 win over Reading to make it three goals for the season.
But Vaz Te pointed out that he has scored more goals than anyone since his £500,000 signing from Barnsley in January 2012 and that much of the time last season he was being played out of position.
With manager Sam Allardyce keen to play with a lone striker and with Andy Carroll returning to fitness, it is likely that the situation is not going to get much better for Vaz Te.
Nolan wants him to fight for his place.
“Generally he just wants to play football,” he insisted.
“Hopefully now he will get a chance and it’s up to him to prove everyone wrong.
“We’ve got a fairly settled squad and we might have another familiar face coming in, so we’ll see how that turns out.”
Somehow one thinks it is not likely to get better and come January, the hero of Wembley may well be on the way out of Upton Park.