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Cottee Column: Spot kick was so harsh on Hammers

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
2:00 PM

Great to see my old team-mates on Sunday

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Adrian brushes the ball away from Liverpool's Jon Flanagan but the visitors were still awarded a penaltyAdrian brushes the ball away from Liverpool's Jon Flanagan but the visitors were still awarded a penalty

There was a great atmosphere at Upton Park on Sunday and I think West Ham gave a very good account of themselves and maybe deserved a draw for all their efforts.

I was at the game and it was great to see so many of my old team-mates down there too. Tony Gale, Alan Devonshire, Paul Goddard, Keith Rowland, Alvin Martin, Brian Dear and Allen McKnight were all there and though I didn’t play with all of them – especially ‘Stag’, we all had a good chat over a beer.

For me, West Ham played really well, especially in the first half, they seemed to have the freedom that comes with being almost safe. The defence was particularly solid and when you are playing against a team like Liverpool that is vital.

However, though Liverpool were far from their best, they had just enough about them to sneak it on the day.

The first penalty was certainly the right decision, but I think the second one was extremely harsh. Adrian got something of the ball and in my day of contact football that would certainly not have been a foul.

Saying that, I have to say Andy Carroll fouled the keeper for our goal. I don’t know if the referee saw that at half time and decided to even things up, I hope not, but in the end Liverpool just about deserved it.

Taking my Everton hat off for a moment, I have to say that it would be great to see Liverpool take the title.

They play some great football, they play with two strikers, they have plenty of English players in the team and they have a British manager in Brendan Rodgers. They also have the footballer of the year in Suarez, while I would love to see Stevie Gerrard win the league.

I would like to see West Ham play with two up front next season. Too often Andy Carroll was left isolated up front and I think with someone like Ross McCormack there to feed off him, the Hammers can move to the next level.

Arsenal trip will be another tough one

Next Tuesday sees another daunting trip to the Emirates, though this is not the same confident Arsenal that thrashed us there last season.

They were outplayed by Everton on Sunday and are looking very depleted at the moment and with the Hammers all but safe they can really look to attack them next week.

Mind you, it won’t be easy. Arsenal are likely to have Aaron Ramsey and possibly Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the team and they are quality players.

This is just a bonus game for us as we have more chance in the games against Palace, West Brom and even Tottenham to reach that 40-point mark.

Putting my Everton hat back on I would love it if the Hammers beat them to give the Toffees a better chance of fourth place, but I will go for a 0-0 draw and a performance like the one at Chelsea in January.

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