The Cottee Column: Jussi has been excellent


- Credit: Archant

Hammers legend TC writes for you each week

It was a mistake by Jussi Jaaskelainen, a bad mistake which cost us a goal, but we need to think about how many points he has saved for West Ham this season and last.

Jussi had a shaky start when he first arrived at the club, but in the past year or so, you have to say that he has been as consistent as just about anybody in the team.

I was pleased that Big Sam didn’t criticise him too much because he is still a very good goalkeeper in my eyes and that was just a blip.

As to letting in another stunning free kick, it is about time that we stopped conceding these free kicks on the edge of the box. We have been unlucky because so many have flown in this season, but if they don’t get the chance, then we don’t concede a goal.

Apart from that I am not sure what else we can do. Some teams put a player on the line, but that means the strikers can crowd the goalkeeper, so I am not sure that is the answer.

Looking back on the Norwich game you have to say it is a really bad defeat, especially when you consider how well we played in the first half.

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The problem was that we didn’t kill Norwich off when we had the chance. We have to take our chances.

Kevin Nolan is suffering at the moment. Last year he scored 10 goals and I always say that if a player scores 10 goals then you should stay in the Premier League.

He is clearly missing playing alongside a striker and Andy Carroll in particular and I think Sam has to go for a striker from the start from now on.

There is two weeks to the next game and that gives Carlton Cole a little longer to get fitter. I would like to see him start the next game, even if it is only for an hour from the start.

Winston absence is a big blow

With Winston Reid on the injured list now, it means that West Ham are without their best defender and their best striker at the same time.

Without a doubt, Winston has been the best player in the last couple of seasons and deservedly won the Hammer of the Year trophy last term.

It is also a great shame that he will not be able to play for New Zealand in their World Cup play-off against Mexico, though I am sure the club secretary will be relieved that they don’t have to pay out that £100,00 for his private jet flight to Mexico!

He will be badly missed by the Hammers. His partnership with James Tomkins has been getting better and better in recent weeks, but fortunately we have a ready made replacement in James Collins.

No game this weekend, but I don’t mind these international breaks. It gives a chance for clubs like Leyton Orient and Dagenham & Redbridge to take the spotlight and that is a good thing.

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