King James puts body on the line for Hammers

15:00 21 December 2015

Swansea City

Swansea City's Gylfi Sigurdsson (right) has a shot on goal during the Barclays Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea.

PA/Press Association Images

Welsh defender reflects on draw with Swansea City and earns praise from boss Slaven Bilic

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic (John Walton/PA Wire)West Ham manager Slaven Bilic (John Walton/PA Wire)

With West Ham defender James Collins out of contract next summer and also looking for a place in the Wales team at France 2016, every match is like a job interview.

And if that is the case, then the 32-year-old has shown that he still has a big future for both.

He was at his very best at Swansea on Sunday, helping the team to a third consecutive clean sheet, but it was the way that he did it which stood out.

Tackle, block, header, another block, another header, he is always ready to put his body on the line for his team. It is old style defending and it is the sort of backs-to-the-wall stuff that the fans appreciate so much.

“We are defending well,” said Collins. “Sometimes it was a bit too desperate with last-ditch tackles and chucking yourself in front of the ball, which looks good, but is not what we want to do.

“As to the blocks, I don’t practice those in training,” he smiled. “It is just one of those things and I am stupid enough to jump in front of them.

“That is the way I was brought up, I am there to stop the ball going into the net anyway I can, you have go to do it.”

One such block almost proved costly for Collins and West Ham. Ki Seung-Yeung stole into the box and let fly and the Wales defender flung himself in front of it and it hit his hand.

The Swansea fans booed as Collins held his head, but as the West Ham man turned to show an egg-shaped lump on the back of his head, he insisted that he was not faking injury.

“I just couldn’t get out of the way of it,” he said. “The fans thought I was blagging it, but it certainly hit my hand, but it was not intentional.

“I was lying on the floor and yer man has slid in and kneed me in the back of the head. That is why I was down, I got a whack on the head for my trouble.”

That is what Collins is all about, he goes in where it hurts and will do anything for the team and when you have so many casualties, you need that sort of player in the trenches.

Manager Slaven Bilic certainly thinks so: “It is a privilege for me to have him in the team. He has experienced everything this season. He has been on the bench, sometimes he has come on for just two minutes.

“He has also played from the start many times and every time he was brilliant. I am talking about the games, the training and in the hotel, everything.

“It is simply great to have him and he is a great example, especially for the youngsters, of how they should behave and train – he is absolutely brilliant.”

It is Collins’ second spell at Upton Park and he lives and breathes the club. These are challenging times for West Ham and Collins is a vital part of coming through it.

“We are grinding out results and picking up points,” he said. “If this was three defeats and not three draws we would be talking a bit differently, but we are still seventh or eighth.

“It is not all doom and gloom by any stretch of the imagination, we have had a tremendous start.”

He’s right and though things are currently not going smoothly for the Hammers, Collins is there to make sure the team hold things together.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham Sports News

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Leyton Orient boss Andy Hessenthaler looks on (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Pre-season friendly: Leyton Orient 0 Charlton Athletic 0

Sean Clohessy
Friday, July 22, 2016
Leyton Orient's badge outside Brisbane Road (pic: Play With A Legend).

Ex-Oldham Athletic ace will play his first home match at E10 and has discussed his role in helping improve the youngsters in the squad

Russell Slade
Friday, July 22, 2016
New Leyton Orient midfielder Robbie Weir shows his delight after signing for the club (pic: Leyton Orient FC).

Experienced midfielder has demonstrated his leadership qualities throughout the summer

Nicky Hunt
Friday, July 22, 2016
Russell Slade (left) and Kevin Nugent will return to Brisbane Road this weekend with Charlton Athletic (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Pair who worked together for a lengthy amount of time at Brisbane Road will return on Saturday with League One side Charlton

Nicky Hunt

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport


Show Job Lists


Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All entrants can get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Read more
£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now