West Ham striker Carlton Cole has had to endure an increased amount of criticism from the club’s fans. Regular moans and groans have echoed throughout Upton Park when he has either entered the field of play, failed to win an ariel duel or missed a goal scoring opportunity.

But what these fans fail to see is his commitment to the club and the effort he puts in to playing for West Ham. They fail to see his contribution on the pitch and remember what he has done for the team since he arrived from Chelsea in 2006.

So, as a self-confessed member of the Carlton Cole fan club, I’d like to jog a few people’s memories, starting with his attacking contribution.

In 221 appearances in all competitions for the Hammers, Cole has scored 58 goals – his most recent being the equaliser in the brilliant 3-1 win over Chelsea last weekend. In the last four seasons he has finished as the club’s top scorer, with his highest tally coming last season (15). Additionally, the striker has assisted 27 goals in the six and a bit seasons he has enjoyed at the club with his most successful season being the 2007/2008 campaign when he chipped in with eight assists.

Now, many people will argue that averaging a goal every 3.81 games is not a good enough return for a striker will be partly right. But, when you consider that he has spent half of his West Ham career in a side battling relegation and one season playing in the Championship, it is fair to say that the 29-year-old hasn’t exactly been given the opportunity to thrive in a Premier League side performing well consistently.

His goals last season were also massively important to West Ham’s promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Without seven of his league goals, the Hammers would have been 12 points worse off at the end of the season, which would have seen them finish seventh, missing out on the play-offs. Then, of course, he scored the opener and assisted the winner in the 2-1 play-off final win over Blackpool.

Cole doesn’t get enough praise for the commitment he has shown to the club, either. After the club’s promotion, the striker revealed he had opted to take a 50% pay-cut in order to help with the club’s finances while out of the top-flight. For someone that has been regularly criticised in a West Ham shirt, that is a decent thing to have done.

He also has to endure endless abuse from idiots on Twitter and he has conducted himself well, only reacting to a couple of tweets that may have got him in trouble if seen as anything other than banter. He regularly keeps the fans informed about how training is going and has tweeted his love for the club in the past.

Further more, upon the high-profile arrival of Andy Carroll at the end of August, Cole told the Sun: “I don’t want to leave. I have told the board that I want to stay for the rest of my career. I want to stay and help out the club anyway way I can.”

For a player that doesn’t have 100% of the fans behind him to pledge his future to the club like that shows his commitment is unrivaled and there are fans out there that need to recognise that.

Cole may not be one of the best strikers to have ever had the privileged to wear claret and blue, but he deserves a lot more respect than what he receives from some fans. His contribution to the team goes unnoticed at times but if you look closely you’ll see a man who is always giving his all for the team.

His performance against Chelsea proved just that, too. A goal, an assist and an all round good performance, which will surely go some way in keeping Andy Carroll out to the team – when he returns after injury – if he can take that into the next few games and beyond.

Loyal footballers are a rarity these days, so Carlton Cole should be praised for that rather than be hounded by the fans of the club he is so evidently devoted to.

What do you think? Does Carlton Cole deserve some of the criticism he receives from fans, or do supporters fail to see exactly what he has done for the club since signing from Chelsea? Let me know your thoughts below.

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  • CB200
    2 years ago

    Finally another West Ham fan who agrees with me i was startign to think i was the one

    Reply
  • PT
    2 years ago

    You are

    Reply
  • Brad
    2 years ago

    Sam Allardyce twice tried to sell Cole last year but he didn’t want to move. He is dedicated, but simply not of the standard we need pushing forward. To say he seems committed on the pitch is strange as the sulky, lazy side of his game is there for everyone to see. He was decent against Chelsea for half an hour, that doesn’t suddenly make him a Premier League striker. He gives the ball away too often, doesn’t win enough headers for his size and isn’t lethal in front of goal. Seems like a nice bloke, but that doesn’t make him a better player.

    Reply
  • Goose
    2 years ago

    You say that without seven of his goals we would’ve been 12 points off the top. How many clear would we have been if he had scored more of the chances he missed. I agree that his loyalty is a credit to him and he should be applauded for it. However, he is rubbish in the air, doesn’t hold the ball up well and misses far too many chances for a premier league striker. If I was as bad at my job as he is, I would EXPECT a 50% pay cut, not opt for one. As a person he comes across as a really top guy but as a club who wish to be in a position to fill the Olympic stadium every week, we need to be winning more games. Yes Andy Carroll has only scored one in his 8 or 9 games but he holds the ball up so much better than Cole thus knocking the ball on to Nolan, Diame etc etc. Cole is a top bloke but a rubbish footballer and I for one will thank him for his service when he leaves but be happy to have him replaced.

    Reply
  • Slc
    2 years ago

    Doesn’t matter how loyal you are, if your crap, well your crap, and he is crap,He’s averaged about 9 goals a season for the last 4 seasons, and 1 of those was in a lower division, he really needs to take a 95% pay cut, and then I’d still rather he played else where

    Reply
  • Jec
    2 years ago

    Stop with the stick! Give him a break, I would be happy if he plate instead of carrol all season, (even though 2 upfront would be better) he played well against Chelsea and if he carries the form on, he deserves respect!!! I bet he’s better than all of you guys anyway XD

    Reply
  • tezza
    2 years ago

    Carlton was brought to West Hamas a backup striker and in that role he is very good as he proved on Sunday. He should not have had to perform the main striker role for seasons on end, but that wasn’t his fault. He is on low wages compared to most other strikers that have played for West Ham since his arrival, yet has performed better than nearly all of them. I hope he remains at the club as a backup striker.

    Reply
  • James Page
    2 years ago

    Just becuase Cole had a good 30 mins against Chelsea doesn’t make him a good player. You’re forgetting the games Cole played before Andy Carrol was signed, where he wad crap (remember the one on one against QPR?). With AC being out for a few games this is Cole’s chance to prove me wrong but I wouldn’t be suprised if he fails to score again as he is useless! I hope the board don’t renew his contract but they probably will.

    Reply
  • Stuart
    2 years ago

    Quite agree with the article. Have always had a soft spot for Cole as you can see the Claret n Blue really means something to him. Hope he can keep up his confidence after a great second half performance and keep Carol at bay.

    Reply
  • Andy
    2 years ago

    Whilst he quite often lacks the quality or composure of a top class striker, his committment and effort cannot be faulted.

    His loyality and positive attitude are to be commended and he certainly deserves some credit.

    I do not think he has the assets required to be our No.1 Striker, but I am more than happy for him to remain an active member of the squad. He does seem to be a level headed and decent bloke. I for one wish him well, and hope that he is able to put a run of form together to make everyone happy. West Ham are however in need of 20+ goal a season striker.

    Reply
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