June 19 2013 Latest news:
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Hammers defender eases his frustration at being left on the bench this season by coming on to great effect against QPR on Monday night
Last season, James Tomkins was one of the stars as West Ham marched back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.
The 23-year-old rivalled Mark Noble for that Hammer-of-the-Year accolade and was rightly chosen to represent Team GB at the Olympics in the summer.
But it seems that honour has somewhat backfired on him as he slipped down the pecking order in his absence from the West Ham pre-season preparations.
“It is always hard of course,” said Tomkins, who came off the bench to help the Hammers to their first away success of the campaign at QPR on Monday.
“I wanted to represent Great Britain and the manager gave me the chance to and I appreciated that.
“I went there expecting to play more than I did in the end, so obviously I wasted a lot of time and then ‘Ginge’ and ‘Reidy’ played a lot together in pre-season and the manager had his thoughts.
“It was disappointing for me, but I suppose that is what football is like. You have to keep your head down and keep working hard in training which I have.
“It paid off against QPR because I came on the pitch and did well.”
He certainly did. Tomkins was forced on after just 23 minutes when Winston Reid was forced off, but as well as showing his defensive skills, he was also able to set up the second goal for Ricardo Vaz Te with an excellent cross.
“You can come on at any time, but coming on early as a defender it can take a little while to get into the game,” explained Tomkins.
“You always want to start well and settle down and I thought I did that and that was important for the rest of the game.”
Tomkins looked accomplished in both boxes and though West Ham may still be a centre half short in their squad, it showed that the one man they do have in back-up is capable of doing an excellent job.
“Coming to Loftus Road is difficult,” he said. “This is my first experience here and it is a hard place to come. When the crowd got behind them when they scored you can see how hard it is.
“But we held on in the end and it was a well-deserved three points.”
Arsenal is next on the horizon and the defender thinks they can go into the game with confidence.
“It will be tough,” he said. “We have played teams around where we could finish and we have stepped up the challenge.
“Hopefully we can continue that and we are going to be positve going into the Arsenal game.
“We are going to give it a right go, especially at home where we have got a really good record.”
Whether Tomkins is in the starting line-up for that game remains to be seen, but the defender is desperate to play his part.
“I want to play more games and that is important to me,” he reflected.
“The lads have come in and done well in the back four, so obviously they haven’t changed it much.
“It is frustrating to watch, but if we keep getting the results there is not much I can do.
“It was just nice to come on and help win the game.”
Surely it is only a matter of time before the West Ham number five takes his rightful place in that back four, but if we don’t see him, then we will know that West Ham are still in top form.