West Ham defender has lost his way

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James TomkinsCrass, arrogant and brutish. Yes these words have been used to describe our self-confident boss Sam Allardyce, and for that matter his pet Kevin Nolan. However, these words, in recent weeks, have proved better to describe James Tomkins than most other people associated with our fine club.

Now, before you think this is a hatchet job, I have to point out it’s not. It’s more my cause for concern at what has happened to Tomkins. At Bournemouth in pre-season, I had the privilege to meet him and he was nothing but an absolute gentleman, making time for fans old and young alike. Therefore, despite him being behind Winston Reid and James Collins in the pecking order, I still had high hopes for a player who was a homegrown talent, who throughout his career had worked tirelessly to be a first team regular. Being given the opportunities is one thing, seizing them though, is another.

I was first concerned by Tomkins during our evening game away to Norwich City on November 9th. Though nobody in the side covered themselves in glory, our defence in particular looked poor, with, in my opinion, Tomkins coming across as sloppy and lazy for Leroy Fer’s third goal. Whereas it is very unlikely we would have ever won the game, a bit of steel and passion would have been encouraging to see. Though, on this performance I’m NOT singling him out, it would have been better had he have not let his head drop.

This could have been seen as a one off, and if so I probably wouldn’t have felt it necessary to bring it up again after the match. Indeed, when I brought it up after the game, fellow West Ham fans looked at me aghast that I should dare moan about one of our own. However, the Christmas period then came along. Our favourite scouse captain had cancelled the annual players’ Christmas shindig, and we had lost 3-1, in an embarrassing performance away to Manchester United.

Such was the lacklustre display, West Ham fans probably thought it best to cancel the Christmas party and for the players to train hard and keep a low profile. Unfortunately, the evening of the Manchester United debacle saw James Tomkins get arrested outside a popular Essex nightspot.

Obviously there is very little that we can put here as the facts aren’t clear and we don’t want Forever West Ham to have to get there legal eagles out, but in my opinion, for Tomkins to allow himself to get himself mixed up in a situation that would have the media licking their lips, was stupid, unprofessional and careless. With the adulation of being a professional footballer also comes responsibility as a role model. Tomkins failed on that.

Finally, we have the Cardiff City victory from Saturday. For all the positives that came out of that game, of which there were plenty, there was also the disappointing red card received by Tomkins for two yellow card offences.

In theory, the first one wasn’t for a foul, it was for his petulant and arrogant manner in which he berated the referee’s assistant after the foul was given. Almost looking at the official in disdain for having the nerve to give a foul. With this outburst, came the first yellow card. A more settled Tomkins would have just allowed the free kick to be given and got back into the box, maintaining the defence’s shape without complaint.

The second yellow was for a kicking Frazier Campbell in the head. Granted he was going for the ball, but his foot was absurdly high. Campbell, being the quicker, unfortunately for both got there first, and the second yellow card saw Tomkins get his marching orders. Tomkins had the look of a man hard done by, but the decision was not going to be reversed.

Though in the short-term it didn’t seem to matter, what happens in the three games he’s suspended remains to be seen. Tomkins no doubt knows that we are thin on the ground for defenders. With Guy Demel injured in the first half and Sam making it obvious he’s after further recruits at the back, Tomkins had a responsibility to the club that again he failed to fulfill.

When it was Nolan letting the club down, Sam, and the fans came out and let him know he had done so. Sam himself has been the subject of abuse from us fans when we thought he wasn’t doing a job worthy of his salary or the club. Tomkins however has escaped unscathed. I’m not victimising him as such, I’m more concerned that he’s lost his way at a time in the season when it can be ill afforded. Hopefully this is just a blip, and once the suspension is out the way, the level-headed Tomkins that carried Matthew Upson in the winter days of his West Ham career will be back performing at the level we know he can.

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  • Kat says:

    Tomkins is my favourite player, but I have to say you raise some very good points. I hope you’re right and he’ll be back on track after his ban 🙂 I think the team will be in much better spirits after a win and hopefully he’ll be reunited with Reid soon!

  • Paul says:

    two yellows is one game suspension not three. straight red is your research before you put it all over the web…

  • bubbles says:

    No great loss…… not good enough for Premiership .

  • maz says:

    Yeh I have been a bit disappointed with him especially with the hanges he got with injury to reid and collins.

    He will only miss 1 game though for 2 yellows…? still could do with him for the newcastle game…

  • dan says:

    Maybe you should learn the rules of football before critsizing him. Hes out for one game not three, the second yellow was not a yellow, and the first yellow started because he was originally fouled and nothing was given leading him to foul there player. You bring up the norwich game, yet fail to bring up collins who was ten times worse then him in that game. Also thats the first time ive seen him berate an official and its not cuz hes arrogant, its probably something to do with his court case in mid week. Give him a break.

  • andy says:

    He’s a young bloke for a centre back with a very bright future in front of him, I think we should cut him some slack. The night club incident and court case must be on his mind and it would be quite remarkable if he wasn’t preoccupied right now. For me he’s always shown a hunger to wear the shirt and compared to some others who were hailed as next academy star to take on the world, he continues to keep his head down to develop his game. My fear is who will make way for Lescott if he comes … Tomkins is the future whereas Lescott maybe has 2 more good season in him at the best.

  • bubbles says:

    Tomkins is not 50 % of the player that Lescott is you moron …. Do you go to games … I reckon not as he has been terrible … He is a disgrace on and off of the pitch .

  • maz says:

    I don’t think the ‘court case’ is anywhere near a good excuse… should of been able to control himself, even if he was smashed. No-one to blame but himself, but he is young and a lad, and will makes mistakes. I just hope this is all short term and will learn and grow form it.

    Thought he was immense in the Sunderland game + Cardiff

  • Maada says:

    I do feel you’re overreacting though I understand the points. Tomkins is still only 24 and has still a bit of experience in the Premier League and I believe he is premier league quality. On Saturday his reactions we’re questionable but we can say that for Noble, or anyone else. He isn’t world class but neither poor so we should think about how tough this league and playing football is cus it may look easy but it’s because they make it look easy.

  • Smudgy says:

    As writer of the piece I feel it important to apologise for my inaccuracies on his suspension. I was wrong and hold my hands up, I should know that two yellows will bring a one game and not three game suspension. However, I am not slagging him off as such, I feel that he is a good squad player for us and just needs to become level-headed again. I pointed out when meeting him what a gentleman he was, and I’m sure despite his arrest he still remains a kind person to his fans. Am I overreacting? Probably, but throughout the article, despite finding errors in his recent judgement, I have also praised him. Once he is back to full form, I’m sure he will be an asset to the side once more, however, I feel it also important to be fair to all squad members. When Nolan or Sam in recent weeks have upset us or let the side down, we have pointed it out. In equal fairness, I thought it important to mention that even terrace favourites need to occasionally buck their ideas up. Admittedly, some choices of phrase were wrong, but whilst I tried to summarise his recent shortcomings in an eloquent manner, my impassioned terms were in parts misguided. Thank you for reading and commenting, even if you didn’t agree with my views. COYI

  • Spence55 says:

    The second yellow card was a total joke at Cardiff. Look at the footage closely. This was a defender, back to goal, doing what he is paid to do, defend. He has eyes on the ball, back to play and is trying to hook the ball clear. What was he supposed to do – let the ball drop and risk losing possession ? Had Cardiff nicked the ball and scored, James Tomkins name would have been mud, so lets cut out the “he let us down nonsense”. Nolans Fulham dismissal was a disgrace – Tomkins was doing his job and was yellow carded by a Referee who clearly cant distinguish between an intentional foul and a committed defender. A forward trying a head-high scissor kick in the box is OK but not a defender clearing his lines ?? Tomkins is a quality player who gets in where it hurts. He is tidy on the ball and dangerous at set plays. He is only 24 and with young Reid, will hopefully be the centre back pairing for some time.

  • RonBoy29 says:

    Smudgy what a load of hypocritical nonsense. I’m not criticising you say then mumble on about the boys abilities and attitude. You obviously have an agenda which i imagine is intended as support for fat SAm and his cronies. Tomkins is always the first name I look for this season and his display at Cardiff until his crass dismisal proved completely why he had been badly missed. Collins courage and defensive play is generally very good but his passing skills and free kicks leave a lot to be desired and our future must lie with Tomkins/Reid. Incidentally we lost 6 nil to Man.City and Tomkins earned just a one week penalty but perhaps your typing skills match your knowledge of football. Of course I Love the fact that he is a local lad and make no apology on his behalf for his drinking spree the boy can play.

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