West Ham’s Kieron Dyer: Another case of ‘What If ?’

Dyer could have amounted to so much more if not for injury

Kieron Dyer must have walked under his fair share of ladders in his time. In what was a rare West Ham appearance,  Dyer limped off after 21 minutes against Bolton on tuesday leaving not only Newcastle and West Ham fans but people in general wondering what possibly could he have amounted too if not for his rotten luck with injuries?

Since his debut in 1996, Dyer has played 30 or more games in just 3 seasons and 2 of those were before the turn of the millenium. He suffered injury woes at Newcastle but it seems they really picked up after he joined West Ham where in only his 3rd game for the Hammers he suffered a double fracture of his leg in a Carling Cup tie against Bristol that ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Although it was thought he would be back for the start of the next season, a set back in August meant he next appeared in West Ham’s claret and blue 17 months later in West Ham’s 3rd round FA Cup tie against Barnsley but was again injured in May with a hamstring injury, the same injury that saw him miss the 2006 World Cup, out of Tuesday’s game and has seen him make just 7 appearances this term.

Dyer showed much promise in his early years and after 3 seasons at Ipswich he moved to Newcastle for £6m in 1999 but his spell at St James Park was marked by inconsistency, injury and a memorable on-field punch up with team mate Lee Bowyer.

It is hard to believe that Dyer, who has 33 England caps and appeared for England at the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004, will be 31 at the end of the month but injury has robbed him of an integral part of his career. Despite this, in the brief glimpses we have seen from Dyer this season age nor injury appear to have robbed the former England international of the pace or technical ability that made him such a hot prospect in his youth.

Against Wolves in August he appeared to revel in a free role and would have marked the occasion with a goal had Jody Craddock not cleared his effort off the line.

West Ham as well as Dyer will be cursing their luck as he is definitely a player that could make a difference as they find themselves in a tough relegation battle. And with Carlton Cole out and Dean Ashton having to retire because of his inability to over come a chronic ankle problem West Ham will be worried at the frequency with which Dyer finds himself sidelined.