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Matt Taylor (West Ham United) celebrates scoring with Winston Reid (West Ham United) - West Ham United vs. Fulham - Barclays Premier League at Upton Park, London - 01/09/12 - MANDATORY CREDIT: Jack Megaw/TGSPHOTO/PIXEL8 - Self billing applies where appropriate - 0845 094 6026 - email@example.com - NO UNPAID USE.
Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Hammers wide man Matt Taylor has given manager Sam Allardyce something to think about before next week’s trip to Norwich City after his goal and assist against Fulham
West Ham may have splashed out a club record £10.7 million on Matt Jarvis last week, but there is one man who is determined to stay on the mind of Hammers manager Sam Allardyce.
It was Matt Taylor who had to give way for Jarvis to make his debut at Swansea City last week, something that did not please the former Bolton and Portsmouth winger to say the least.
But with Jarvis out with a thigh strain on Saturday, Taylor stepped back into the breach and justified his call-up with an assist and a goal in the 3-0 thumping of Fulham at Upton Park.
It was Taylor’s first goal in almost a year to the day, but the 30-year-old thought it was never going to come to him.
“It was nice to see my shot go in,” he said. “It seemed to take an age to fall for me and I didn’t catch it as well as I would have liked, but luckily it flew in and killed the game off.”
Flew in is right. James Collins’ free kick sparked panic in the Fulham defence as three players rushed to mark Andy Carroll and when the ball dropped in the penalty area, Taylor was there unmarked to ram the ball past Mark Schwarzer who remained rooted to the spot.
The quietly-spoken Taylor was pleased with his goal, but more pleased with the performance as a whole as West Ham began well from the start.
“It was a very good day,” he said. “It was great to get a goal in the first few moments because it seemed to settle everybody down and we played very well in and out of possession today.”
Taylor may well have hit the nail on the head. Too often in the past West Ham have been guilty of giving the opposition too much room to play, but this was a Hammers side who would not give Fulham a minute.
“Out of possession I thought we did very well to keep our shape,” he said. “We put them under pressure when we needed to and we won the ball back in good areas. That allowed us to create good opportunities and ultimately score three good goals.”
After that first-minute goal, it took a while before West Ham stretched their lead, but it was Taylor at the heart of things, first with his corner for Winston Reid to head home and then with a goal of his own.
“There was a long time between when we scored the first goal and the second – it was probably too long,” explained Taylor.
“We got the second and third close together and you can tell that deflated them as they went in 3-0 down.
“In the second half we kept things very tight and could and probably should have got another goal, while Jussi Jaaskelainen also did well making two fantastic saves to ensure we kept a clean sheet.”
With a huge price tag around the neck of Jarvis, the pressure will be on to play him, but last season’s top assists man showed on Saturday, that there is plenty more to come from him yet.