James Collins, hero or villain?

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James Collins was an unknown package when he signed for West Ham United from Cardiff City in the summer of 2005. When he joined, he looked to be a very promising player, with good positioning, and good understanding of the game, and good defensive qualities.



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Unfortunately, during a time of unrest at the club, he was sold in 2009 without any consultation with the manager, to Aston Villa for £4m. I was gutted when he went, but then I watched his progress closely whilst at Aston Villa.

Collins hardly set the world alight in Martin O’Neill’s side, and was in and out of the team, but seemed to look his best when partnered with Richard Dunne. However, when O’Neill left, this is when Collins struggled to get regular first team football, and last summer, returned to the Hammers for a small fee.




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Since his return, his fortunes have been up and down. There is no doubting his heart for a scrap, and his style suits us when under the cosh and we need players throwing themselves into tackles. However, he has made some truly awful errors in games, namely Swansea City, Sunderland and more recently at Reading – all of these mistakes led to goals by the opposition.

It’s those sorts of mistakes which keep West Ham as a mid-table side. If we are to move on up in the league, then for me, we need a better quality centre back next to Winston Reid. James Tomkins should be the man in that position at the moment, and I think with Sam Allardyce continuing to pick Collins, its hampering Tomkins progress.

Collins has had some storming games for us, but those games in which he has helped us win, he has also contributed massively, to those games we have lost.



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I hope his form picks up over the second half of the season, but for now, I would like to see a young academy graduate in there instead of Collins..

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  • sibbo says:

    if tomkins is not put back in the team and ends up leaving fat sam should be sacked

  • Laurent says:

    Definitely agree. I can’t understand why Big Sam doesn’t give Tomkins a real chance this year. Playing him in midfield or right back certainly doesn’t help. Hope Tomkins doesn’t get too impatient and decides to leave. Would be a very bad piece of news for the club.

  • dave says:

    I think so much of W.Reid improvement in the PL is down to having collins playing along side him with his experience if reid was injured at the start of the season and if we had started with collins and Tomkins the debate would be whats happened to W.Reid.In my opinion we have 3 very solid CB at the club all with varied strenghs and weaknesses.I personly think we look just that bit more solid when we have Collins in the starting lineup,so for now its Ginge and one or other for this season at least.

  • Scott says:

    The problem I see is that although Collins has made mistakes he’s also saved us on occasions this season and with him you know you’ve got prem experience alongside a young talent in reid still learning and improving in the prem

    Had Tomkins not played in the Olympics and had a proper pre season things may have been different but why change a good partnership and play two fairly inexperienced guys together when you’re at risk and trying to survive in the league first season back.

    I love Tomkins and have even said one day he could be a future England captain. I know he needs games to get better and become more experienced but do we risk it when we’re unsure If he is capable at this Level?

  • essexhammers fan says:

    Collins has made mistake after mistake this season, he’s too slow, if Tomkins leaves, whether it’s a transfer request or he’s sold, it’ll be a sad day for West Ham and a massive backwards stop which will send out totally the wrong message

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