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Julian Dicks' Echo column
WITH the way West Ham have started the season I think they should be going to Norwich on Saturday and looking to pick up three points, and I expect them to win.
The midfield will be a crucial area and the likes of Mark Noble and Mohamed Diame need to impose themselves on the game.
And with Andy Carroll being out injured, this will be a chance for Carlton Cole to prove his worth to the team and hopefully he’ll be on top of his game.
He needs to give a performance that says to Sam Allardyce “yes, we’ve got Andy Carroll here, but I can offer the team some quality too”. It’s not make or break for Carlton, but it is a chance for him to properly stake his claim to lead the side this season.
And if he starts scoring goals he will make it difficult for Sam to leave him out.
I’ve seen Carlton Cole look like he’s unplayable, but for me he does not always do enough on the pitch and can look non-existent.
On his day he is a good player, but when it’s not his day he can look very, very average and you will not get away with that in the Premier League.
Even world class players make mistakes, but you do need to have some more consistency than Carlton Cole sometimes shows.
* I’VE seen the issue of West Ham moving to the Olympic Stadium in the news again this week.
My view is that football moves on, I understand that, and it might be the right move.
They can’t develop Upton Park any further and a move to that stadium would give the club the chance to improve the budget, and you need that in the Premier League.
But a crucial thing for me would be that, if they do move there, they make it affordable for everybody.
And I don’t mean £30 for a ticket, I mean £30 for a family of four. It’s £36 for an adult now, and although they do kids for a quid it is only if they are with a full-paying adult. And for me that doesn’t work because there are a lot of fans who want to go and watch West Ham but just can’t afford it.
If they go to the new stadium then I can understand paying a bit more for the best seats.
But they will have to make sure they more or less fill that stadium out because if you didn’t then you’ve got a team rattling about in a 60,000-seater stadium.
And if you only had 30,000 in there the atmosphere would be dead.
* l LIKE everyone in the football world I was glad to see the results of the Hillsborough report and I’m glad those families have finally got a bit of justice.
From my time playing for Liverpool, I know just what a tragedy that was and I have to say I think it’s disgraceful it’s taken so long for this to happen.
Those grieving families have been fighting 23 years for this – for me it should have been done two or three years after the tragedy happened.
The people that covered up should be held to account for what they’ve done.
For the police to blame certain sections of the crowd – knowing it was not them – is totally unacceptable.
And something needs to be done to make sure they are punished so we show this is not acceptable in the football world or anywhere else.