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West Ham’s Tony Cottee: Taking Cole off so early is not the done thing

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
8:35 AM

Hammers legend Tony Cottee thinks the substitution of Carlton Cole at Everton was not justified

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Carlton Cole, West Ham UnitedCarlton Cole, West Ham United

I have been hauled off at half time plenty of times in my career, but never after 29 minutes and whatever the whys or wherefores of Big Sam replacing Carlton Cole so early, it is just not the done thing.

If West Ham had been 3-0 down then you can understand it, but Carlton had laid one on for Nolan when he was fouled and half an hour just isn’t enough time to show what you can do.

I think Carlton would have taken it fairly well. He knows as well as the rest of us that Andy Carroll is the first choice, but Cole has been in goalscoring form and when you look at the final score, West Ham still lost.

For me, the Nolan incident was definitely a foul, but that means that the referee has to make a real judgement about whether he was the last man or whether it was a goalscoring opportunity. It is not right, but maybe he decided just not to make a decision at all.

It was always going to be a tough game at Everton and in the end Lukaku proved to be the difference, though maybe one of the defenders should have done more to block his shot.

Now we have a week off with some of the others playing, so we just have to hope that none of them get positive results otherwise, with some very difficult games to come, we may be looking over our shoulders again.

I shall be off to watch England v Denmark at Wembley on Wednesday, but I won’t be seeing any West Ham players there for the match.

Looking at our players, I think the only one who could make his way into the squad now is Carroll, but he will have to work hard on his match fitness. I think, for the rest, despite the form of Noble or the potential of Downing, the chance may have gone.

It would be nice to see some different faces against Denmark. Do we really need to see Gerrard and Lampard and Hart playing again?

What a great chance to see what the likes of Luke Shaw can do. It is a friendly after all and it really doesn’t matter about the score.

We have all seen the Alan Pardew headbutt on a Hull City player at the weekend and all I can say is that a punishment fitting the crime must be dealt out to the Newcastle boss.

It is not as if we haven’t seen this coming. There have been six or seven incidents – nowhere near as serious as this – that have been leading up to Saturday and now is the time to put a stop to it.

He has done well at some clubs, less well at others, but it is clear that he has got a temper and as such he should be sitting in the stands and not standing on the touchline.

There is no use saying that afterwards when the violent act has been committed, it is very easy to say that with hindsight.

The dugout can be a highly pressurised area and if you can’t hack it there, which Pardew certainly can’t, then you have to get out of there and go and sit in the stands.

I expect that to happen with the FA punishment.

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