West Ham United defender James Collins confirmed via his Instagram account on Wednesday that the club – presumably on the advice of new manager Manuel Pellegrini – weren’t going to be giving him a new contract, and Irons fans were quick to react.
The 34-year-old’s deal with the east London outfit is due to expire next month, and they had the chance to choose whether to extend it or not following another injury-hit campaign in which he made 13 Premier League appearances.
However, it seems that the Hammers board and boss have decided to take a new direction and release the 6ft 2in tall player who turns 35 in August and had been with them for 11 seasons across two different spells, despite the fact that he was a huge favourite among the London Stadium faithful and a big personality in the dressing room.
West Ham supporters, who have rejoiced on Twitter about Pellegrini’s plan for one of Collins’ former teammates, took to social media to give their thoughts on the situation, and while one labelled it as the “first mistake of Pellegrini’s reign”, another said “I love Collins but I think it’s the correct decision”.
Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction…
First mistake of Pellegrini's reign imo to not offer a new deal to Collins. Understand his age. Understand Pellegrini will prefer more technical players but if you got Collins onside in that dressing room it makes his job so much easier. You never know when he might come in handy
— Mark Harrison (@MarkHarrison23) May 23, 2018
Or we could use the wages towards better, fitter and younger players. I love ginge but how can we progress by paying an ageing defender to ‘gee up’ the dressing room.
— Kevin&Laura (@ThePrestoe2) May 23, 2018
I love Collins (natch) but I think it's the correct decision. We need to be building for the future with younger, less injury prone players. Too much dead wood at the club – working on the basis that Rice and Oggy are 1st choice defenders and MP will bring in at least 1 more.
— ⚒JollyWHUFC⚒ (@JoelSaffer) May 23, 2018
Not if he is not good enough or never going to play. Having a love for the club is not a big enough reason for him to stay. I love Ginge a lot but even relative newbies such as Arnie are showing the same passion and are delivering
— Linda ⚒ (@whucoyi) May 23, 2018
I love ginger pelle as much as the next fan, but if we want to succeed unfortunately we might have to make heartbreaking decisions
— ⚒Jason(V1ntagepunk)⚒ (@V1_PUNK) May 23, 2018
Most of the defence needs upgrading including the keeper – like most of us I hate the ‘way’ Ginge went but don’t really have a problem with the decision
— Allen Luther (@allenluther) May 24, 2018
Think he’s got this one right. Get Oxford back and get him going and sign a quality centre half. Time to move on.
— Dave Lambourne (@Lambo1966) May 23, 2018
I have to agree with you Mark, we may need him from time to time, he should be kept on in some capacity
— Elaine (@hammerlady_1966) May 23, 2018
Harsh way to let him go.. But gotta move on
— shu kapoor (@shoekapoor) May 23, 2018