Our new Cottee?


Diminutive, brown haired, comes to life in the box without being involved in the link up play. I could be describing either our legendary no. 9 or our current no. 7.

Little Sammy Baldock has made quite an impression since his move from MK Dons…at West Ham over the last few years we’ve seemed to stock-pile target men as a recruitment policy. Piquionne, Cole, Obinna and Carew all come to mind. It’s almost as if the club discarded the goal poacher as an antiquated type of striker, not the sort of front-man who could make it in today’s cut and thrust game.

Baldock however has broken this particular mould and we are reaping the benefits, some Irons fans even likening him to club legend Tony Cottee. Whilst it’s obviously too early to speculate on whether Sam can have a similar sort of impact at the club, one must admit there are similarities.

Baldock like TC seems to me a striker who operates exclusively within the confines of the 18 yard box, he’s not interested in getting into wide positions, dropping deep or attempting to join in with the link up play, but when the ball enters the box he springs to life and is always looking to test the ‘keeper. Cottee was the same always lurking in the penalty box, ready to pounce when the ball fell in his path, Cottee made the six-yard box his home, just how many goals did he poach from that range with his head or his trusty right foot?

The similarities between the two are there for all to see; the ability to wriggle away from opposition defences, the knack of being in the right place at the right time, perching themselves on the shoulder of the last defender and the ability to score a variety of goals from tap-ins to the odd goal of the month candidate.

It’s a hell of a compliment for the fans to already be making this particular comparison and whilst we all hope that Baldock can over the course of his Hammers career come close to emulating Cottee’s 116 goal haul, his arrival finally sees the end of West Ham playing over the last few years with a seemingly infinite list of target men…at last the club have secured the fox in the box type we’ve lacked for years.

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  • Patrick Temperilli says:

    Great article. Enjoyed the read. I hope for the best, but as it is right now I’m just happy there’s someone on the team that is efficient in front of goal. He plays well of a target man (which, as you’ve mentioned, we have a plethora of) and seems to just pop up at the right time. Given his immediate impact and current form, he should be one of the first names on the team sheet.


    More Bryan “Pop” Robson than TC for me but they bot scored for fun and so will Baldock.

  • Rick says:

    Whenever we have had the big man, small man front pairing, West Ham have always been at their best. Really impressed with Carltons’ workrate and link play with Baldock when he came on for the 2nd half, Baldock seems to be a clever player, as the article says, he comes alive in the box, and is now scoring regularly, let’s keep him in the starting XI, a nice long run of games, and the little fella will bag at least 15 goals this season.
    As he gets more game time, his confidence will improve, he will start to convert the half chances as well.
    Looks to be a real find, and could be a star in the making.

  • West Ham Fan No32 says:

    Nicely written article, he is similar to TC in that he snipes around the box sniffing out goals, his movement is exceptional considering how young he is. His goal today may have looked unspectacular but he was moving as soon as he saw Carlton Cole jump, that gave him time, space and a balanced position from which to tap the volley in. I think he has the potential to be a lot more than TC but that will depend on him continuing to improve. Hope we can hang onto little Sam as am sure offers will come in January for him. COYI!

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