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Cottee’s Column: Let’s just clap that Rooney goal

10:15 25 March 2014

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Hammers legend TC writes for you each week

There were lots of talking points to Wayne Rooney’s goal at West Ham on Saturday, but all I can say is that I stood up and applauded it when it went in.

I am a West Ham fan so the last thing I want to see is a goal like that going in, but as a football purist I have to say that was a brilliant piece of skill and you simply have to applaud it.

Was it a foul? You would probably see that given, but let’s not take anything away from Rooney, it was simply brilliant.

Last season we saw Gareth Bale put on a similar fantastic show at Upton Park, scoring a wonder goal in the last minute and though it was horrendous to see Spurs beat us, it was a case of sheer brilliance and so was Rooney’s strike.

It was the highlight of a hugely disappointing game for the Hammers. We are usually up for a game like that, but we didn’t create chances, we lacked imagination and it was a hugely uninspiring performance.

I raced down from Derby after their match with Forest to get to Upton Park in time for kick-off, and when I saw the team-sheet with Carrick playing in the back four with Phil Jones, I thought we had a real chance, but looking at the game, it is difficult to explain why we were so poor.

The second half where we needed to step it up, we didn’t put any pressure on the Manchester United players and they were able to play just as they liked.

I had to feel sorry for Andy Carroll. It is easy enough to drop the ball to the striker – Tony Gale and Alvin Martin used to do it all the time – but there was hardly a ball there that the front man could control and bring others into the game.

At some time we have to look at the way we play because Andy needs more help up there, either from a nippy little striker or even someone like Carlton Cole.

Next two games are vital ones

I still don’t think that West Ham will go down this season, but with Liverpool coming up soon it is absolutely vital that we pick up some points in the next two matches.

I think that tonight’s (Wednesday’s) Hull City clash is a must-win game. It will not be easy as the Tigers have had some good results lately, but I really think that West Ham need to find that winning form and I will go for a narrow 2-1 win.

For next Monday’s trip to Sunderland it is a match that we cannot afford to lose. They have games in hand and that makes them dangerous, but I think we can go up there and get a 1-1 draw.

I think four points out of six in the next two games will just about make us safe and I think we have the capability to do it.

A warning though, I will be at the Hull game tonight and my record watching West Ham is still pretty terrible.

Come on you Irons!

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