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Carlton Cole


John Simkin
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Interesting article by Nigel Clarke in today's Daily Express:

The point West Ham clawed from the fortress of Fratton Park was as much a tribute to Carlton Cole as it was to goalkeeper Robert Green. The unstinting workload Cole took on in the new system Alan Curbishley tried out was matched only by Green's last-minute penalty save. And it could yet see Cole finally accepted by the demanding Upton Park fans who have never really taken to the England Under-21 striker.

At times they have made his life a misery, come close to driving him out of the club and even left him wondering if he had any future in the game. But asked to play the lone role up front, Cole was immense and while Green was rightly garlanded with praise for his spot-kick heroics, with Portsmouth failing to score for the first time in six matches, the Hammers showed again they are well equipped to be successful away from home.

Curbishley has often debated the best way to utilise Cole's talents and at last appears to have found the way to satisfy the young striker, too. Cole said: "I finished the match exhausted, I was in a different role doing the hold-up play with two wide men linking. It put Portsmouth under pressure and I know I gave Sol Campbell and Sylvain Distin plenty to think about. "The manager asked a lot of me and I'd like to think I gave two central defenders as good as them a hard time. It meant putting myself about and I enjoyed it. Perhaps I have done enough now to stay in because I've never really had a run of games in any side in my entire career. I've always been under pressure to come in and make an instant impact instead of trying to establish myself as a proper player." Cole may now get his wish. Craig Bellamy is out of the Carting Cup tie at Coventry tomorrow with an abdomninal strain - adding further to Hammers' injury woes - but Curbishley will be sufficiently pleased with this performance to keep the same system.

Cole added: "I've had to think long and hard about my future. In the summer I didn't know if I was coming or going with the new people coming in and the money they had to continue to do well and that I can establish a relationship with the fans. They've been on my back and I've had a few boos. It hurts. I just want to get them on my side and I'll always do my upmost for this club."

Cole has a team of advisers around him now, from a sports psychologist to his "nan" Georgina, who weighs in with sound and solid advice. "My psychologist Dan Abrahams gives me mental stimulation and the soundbites you don't always think about as a footballer," he said. "Nan is always there to pick me up and repair my confidence when I am down. She can't go to matches because she has bad knees but whenever I am playing she will be watching on the box and encouraging me. So now, if I didn't think I could fit in and do it for West Ham, I wouldn't stay there. I have to do the business. I'm 24 now and it's time to make an impact."

Curbishley had little alternative to playing Cole in the lone role, but he was pleased with his should effort, agonising over the shot that beat David James and struck the bar, leading to the second of Nobby Solano's misses when he could have won the game for West Ham.

Curbishley said: "Carlton needed to settle down after getting a little lost at Chelsea, Charlton and Aston Villa. When I came to the club he hadn't been playing and it looked as if he was drifting again. But lately he's won a few fans over and grabbed his chance because of the injuries. He has more to offer than just being a target man, but he's had a tough couple of years and this may be his opportunity."

Harry Redknapp was left to rue Benjani's penalty that was pushed out by Green. "I've given him a rollocking because he shouldn't have taken it. Niko Krancar is our spot-kick taker," he said.

"I had an idea they would match us with five in midfield and Cole did ever so well on his own up front. But we showed again that we will give anybody a game here." Pompey, though, will meet few sides prepared to battle as hard as the Hammers did.

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Guest Gary Loughran

He certainly played well against Pompey and has had bright spells in the last few games.

If he becomes more consistent and adds a few more goals he could prove worth holding on to. He's never going to replace or play alongside Ashton, so backup will be his primary role.

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Interesting article by Nigel Clarke in today's Daily Express:

The point West Ham clawed from the fortress of Fratton Park was as much a tribute to Carlton Cole as it was to goalkeeper Robert Green. The unstinting workload Cole took on in the new system Alan Curbishley tried out was matched only by Green's last-minute penalty save. And it could yet see Cole finally accepted by the demanding Upton Park fans who have never really taken to the England Under-21 striker.

At times they have made his life a misery, come close to driving him out of the club and even left him wondering if he had any future in the game. But asked to play the lone role up front, Cole was immense and while Green was rightly garlanded with praise for his spot-kick heroics, with Portsmouth failing to score for the first time in six matches, the Hammers showed again they are well equipped to be successful away from home.

Curbishley has often debated the best way to utilise Cole's talents and at last appears to have found the way to satisfy the young striker, too. Cole said: "I finished the match exhausted, I was in a different role doing the hold-up play with two wide men linking. It put Portsmouth under pressure and I know I gave Sol Campbell and Sylvain Distin plenty to think about. "The manager asked a lot of me and I'd like to think I gave two central defenders as good as them a hard time. It meant putting myself about and I enjoyed it. Perhaps I have done enough now to stay in because I've never really had a run of games in any side in my entire career. I've always been under pressure to come in and make an instant impact instead of trying to establish myself as a proper player." Cole may now get his wish. Craig Bellamy is out of the Carting Cup tie at Coventry tomorrow with an abdomninal strain - adding further to Hammers' injury woes - but Curbishley will be sufficiently pleased with this performance to keep the same system.

Cole added: "I've had to think long and hard about my future. In the summer I didn't know if I was coming or going with the new people coming in and the money they had to continue to do well and that I can establish a relationship with the fans. They've been on my back and I've had a few boos. It hurts. I just want to get them on my side and I'll always do my upmost for this club."

Cole has a team of advisers around him now, from a sports psychologist to his "nan" Georgina, who weighs in with sound and solid advice. "My psychologist Dan Abrahams gives me mental stimulation and the soundbites you don't always think about as a footballer," he said. "Nan is always there to pick me up and repair my confidence when I am down. She can't go to matches because she has bad knees but whenever I am playing she will be watching on the box and encouraging me. So now, if I didn't think I could fit in and do it for West Ham, I wouldn't stay there. I have to do the business. I'm 24 now and it's time to make an impact."

Curbishley had little alternative to playing Cole in the lone role, but he was pleased with his should effort, agonising over the shot that beat David James and struck the bar, leading to the second of Nobby Solano's misses when he could have won the game for West Ham.

Curbishley said: "Carlton needed to settle down after getting a little lost at Chelsea, Charlton and Aston Villa. When I came to the club he hadn't been playing and it looked as if he was drifting again. But lately he's won a few fans over and grabbed his chance because of the injuries. He has more to offer than just being a target man, but he's had a tough couple of years and this may be his opportunity."

Harry Redknapp was left to rue Benjani's penalty that was pushed out by Green. "I've given him a rollocking because he shouldn't have taken it. Niko Krancar is our spot-kick taker," he said.

"I had an idea they would match us with five in midfield and Cole did ever so well on his own up front. But we showed again that we will give anybody a game here." Pompey, though, will meet few sides prepared to battle as hard as the Hammers did.

Subject: LAWS OF GOLF ... Thought you would like to see these Rules of Golf. Number 32 is my fave.

LAW 1:
No matter how bad your last shot was, you may have inner peace knowing that a xxxxtier one is yet to come. (This law does not expire on the 18th hole, since it has the supernatural tendency to extend over the course of a tournament, a summer and, eventually, a lifetime.)

LAW 2:
Your best round of golf will be followed frequently by your worst round ever. The probability of the latter increases with the number of people you tell about the former.

LAW 3:
Brand new golf balls are water-magnetic. (Though this cannot be proven in the lab, it is a known fact that the more expensive the golf ball, the greater its attraction to water. Expensive clubs have also been known to be partly made with this most unusual natural alloy.)

LAW 4:
Golf balls never bounce off of trees back into play. If one does,

the tree is breaking a law of the universe and should be cut down.

LAW 5:
No matter what causes a golfer to muff a shot, his playing partners should solemnly chant 'You looked up,'
or invoke the wrath of the universe.

LAW 6:
The higher a golfer's handicap, the more qualified he deems himself as an instructor.

LAW 7:
Every par-three hole in the world has a desire to humiliate golfers. The shorter the hole, the greater its desire.

LAW 8:
Palm trees have a tendency to eat golf balls.

LAW 9:
Sand is alive. It can swallow your ball.

LAW 10:
A golfer hitting into your group will always be bigger than anyone in your group. Likewise, a group you accidentally hit into will consist of a football player, a professional wrestler, a lawyer -- or some similar combination.

LAW 11:
All 3-woods are demon-possessed. (Your Mother in Law, does not come close.)

LAW 12:
Golf balls from the same 'sleeve' tend to follow one another,

particularly out of bounds or into the water (See LAW`3).

LAW 13:
A severe slice is a thing of awesome power and beauty.

LAW 14:
The person you would most hate to lose to will always be the one who beats you.

LAW 15:
The last three holes of a round can automatically adjust your score to what it really should be.

LAW 16
: Golf should be given up at least twice per month.

LAW 17:
All vows taken on a golf course shall be valid only until the sunset.

LAW 18:
Since bad shots come in groups of three, your fourth consecutive bad shot is really the beginning of the next group of three.

LAW 19:
When you look up and have a bad shot, you will always look down again at exactly the moment when you should have continued watching the ball during your swing.

LAW 20:
The less skilled the player, the more likely he is to share his ideas about your swing.

LAW 21:
If it isn't broke, try changing your grip.

LAW 22:
Golfers who claim they don't cheat, also lie.

LAW 23:
A golf match is a test of your skill against your opponent's luck.
LAW 24:
It's surprisingly easy to hole a 50-foot putt when you lie 8.

LAW 25:
Counting on your opponent to inform you when he breaks a rule is like expecting him to make fun of his own haircut.

LAW 26:
Nonchalant putts count the same as chalant putts.

LAW 27:
It's not a gimme if you're still away.

LAW 28
: The shortest distance between any two points on a golf course is a straight line that passes directly through a very large tree.

LAW 29:
You can hit a 2-acre fairway 10% of the time, and a 2-inch branch 90% of the time.

LAW 30:
Every time a golfer makes a birdie, he must subsequently make two triple bogeys to restore the fundamental equilibrium of the universe.

LAW 31:
If you want to hit a 7-iron as far as Tiger Woods does, simply try to lay up just short of a water hazard.

LAW 32:
There are two things you can learn by stopping your backswing at the top and checking the position of your hands:
how many hands you have, and which one is wearing the glove.

LAW 33:
Hazards attract; fairways repel.

LAW 34:
You can put 'draw' on the ball, you can put 'fade' on the ball, but no golfer can put 'straight' on the ball.

LAW 35:
A ball you can see in the rough from 50 yards away is not yours.

LAW 36:
Don't buy a putter until you've had a chance to throw it.
Remember: Craig Statler once changed putters in the middle of a tournament. When asked about it,
Craig said, 'The other putter couldn't swim!'

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