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Ironside: West Ham stars returning to fitness will be like new signings

13:06 14 December 2012

West Ham United

West Ham United's Mohamed Diame lies injured during the defeat to Liverpool. Photo: Stephen Pond/EMPICS

EMPICS Sport

The blight of injuries seems to constantly follow West Ham.

About our blogger

Name: Chris Wilkerson

Twitter handle: @The_Wilkerson

Regular Attendee

Favourite player: Mark Noble or Winston Reid

Most memorable game: Playoff Final

Predicted finish: 12th

It is possibly just a Premier League curse as last season was one of the few I can remember that did not see our medical room packed to capacity.

This campaign has been full of little kicks in the teeth that have held back our outstanding progress. Both Guy Demel and Ricardo Vaz Te going off against Arsenal decimated our right side, and the injury to the latter has robbed us of valuable pace that we lack.

Vaz Te may find his reputation has benefited from his stay on the sidelines. He was not shining too brightly at the start of the season, but the sense is that in his absence we are remembering his talents fondly.

The speed, the willingness to run at players and his desire to get close to the centre forward are all missing, and you feel that Matt Jarvis would have found him at the back post a few times already had circumstances been altered. For all the other options we have out wide, Vaz Te is rather unique in comparison.

West Ham United's injured Ricardo Vaz Te is helped from the pitch during the Premier League defeat against Arsenal in October. Photo: Daniel Hambury/PAWest Ham United's injured Ricardo Vaz Te is helped from the pitch during the Premier League defeat against Arsenal in October. Photo: Daniel Hambury/PA

With players like Alou Diarra, Jack Collison, Yossi Benayoun and Andy Carroll all in the treatment room, we are missing players of a high calibre.

We had managed, barely missing a step, but the blow at Liverpool [3-2 defeat] is more than just a gut-wrenchingly cruel defeat.

Injury to Mohammed Diame not only lost us that game, but could well lose us control of the midfield in fixtures to come.

I have waxed lyrical about Momo before - our own Yaya Toure - and while the rumours of contract clauses have been irritating, this lay off could be destructive.

"Who cares about the transfer window, a fit and firing Diame can inspire use to third round FA Cup victory against Manchester United"

Chris Wilkerson

While Sam Allardyce did his level best to limit our expectations of a swift recovery, predicting possibly 12 weeks with Momo, the rampaging midfield general has reportedly told Sky Sports News he will only miss three weeks.

Who cares about the transfer window, a fit and firing Diame can inspire use to third round FA Cup victory against Manchester United. I’ll live for that glory rather than the safety of him wrapped up or injured, kept away from transfer negotiations.

We were immense against Liverpool, and the irony escaped none of us that it was our own fantastic academy that won the game for the Reds. Both Glen Johnson and Joe Cole gained more respect for not celebrating. While originally I was angered by Jonjo Shelvey’s exuberant celebrations of a goal he did not score, his age and relative inexperience probably clouded his thoughts of West Ham youth games.

Come the January transfer window some may scream for reinforcements, but considering our performance last weekend and the players we have returning to fitness I cannot see us doing, or needing to do, much business at all.

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