Carlton Cole V’s Wigan
“What a brilliant West Ham United goal”, shouted the commentator as Carlton Cole’s curling effort found the net. It was the perfect finish after a sublime team-effort and a goal that earned the Hammers’ a lot of plaudits that season, some even saying that it was their goal of the season. Then manager Zola certainly got his Claret and Blue men playing some liquid football under his tenure, and ‘that Wigan goal’ proved the Italians plans were working.
Carlton, who was playing the best football of his career under Zola, curled a right footed effort past the outstretched Wigan keeper after a neat exhange of passes that included most of the team. It was the kind of goal that would have had Barcelona fans raving, let alone the West Ham fans.
The strikers finish ended up being the difference that day as the Hammers’ left Wigan with all three points, despite being then sent off. It helped earn the club 9th in the Premier League that season, a good season for Zola and his men.
Carlton Cole V’s Manchester United
When Manchester United visited Upton Park in the cup a few Decembers ago, there wasn’t many Hammers’ expecting to get a result. But little did they know, they were in attendance for one of West Ham’s most memorable nights under the floodlights in the clubs history. The Hammers’ were bottom of the Premier League when Sir Alex Ferguson and his men arrived at the stadium, where as Manchester United were riding high, and were looking to keep their great league form continuing into the cup. Unfortunately for Alex Ferguson, this just wasn’t to be.
The snow was hitting the area hard, both before and during the game. But it wasn’t the snowy chill factor that left the Manchester United gaffer red-faced, it was the manner of defeat that the Scotsman was dished out.
Two goals from the former Manchester United midfielder Jonathon Spector, had the Hammers’ pinching themselves, a third from Carlton Cole had them running their eyes, but the fourth goal confirmed what the fans were thinking. They were well and truly in a dream land.
The big forward took a pass into the box from Victor Obinna and decided to turn defender Jonny Evans inside-out before sliding a fourth pass the goalkeeper. Although Cole scored twice on the night, the fans will feel that the fourth was the Cole goal most worth remembering. Hammers’ fans are the first to admit that a game is never over until the whistle blows, but even they couldn’t see their side throwing a four-goal lead and it gave the fans the chance to enjoy their moment.
It saw West Ham United progress to the semi-finals, the only thing more surprising is the fact that this was all done under the reign of Avram Grant…
Carlton Cole V’s Blackpool
For me, the last time we really got to see what Carlton Cole was all about, was towards the end of last season. By the time we’d reached the Play-Off final, Cole had scored five goals in seven games, and he wasn’t about to stop there. From the start of the game you could tell he was hungry, and only a slightly over hit pass from Nolan stopped the big man from being one-on-one with the Blackpool keeper.
However the big man deservedly found the net with just over thirty minutes on the clock. Neat play from Taylor, followed by a sublime diagonal ball saw Carlton act with pure striker instinct. As the former Chelsea man controlled the ball well before subtly knocking the ball past the sprawling Blackpool keeper, sending both Carlton and the fans into raptures.
Despite Blackpool finding an equaliser early in the second half, the script was already written, it was going to be West Ham’s day. With less than five minutes on the clock West Ham were on attack, Carlton Cole an influential part as always. Despite the keeper charging at the number 9 at a rate of knots, Cole still managed to slip the ball across the face of goal for Vaz Te to slot home.
Cole’s opening goal and bravery during the winner, not only gained the Hammers’ the win, but also a place back in the Premier League. Ensuring that Cole’s name would go down in West Ham history.