Dyer wants chance of performance-related payback
WEST HAM UNITED 1
BOLTON WANDERERS 2
Davies 10, Wilshere 16
ALTHOUGH West Ham are not in immediate relegation danger, despite losing at home to fellow strugglers Bolton, it is clear Upton Park is not a happy place at the moment and the club’s co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold are grumpier than anyone.
The former Birmingham owners have been moaning about the state of the club’s finances ever since they completed their takeover in January. Indeed, the pair took the unusual step last week of highlighting the wages paid to a current player as proof of the fiscal irresponsibility they inherited.
“Two players signed in the summer of 2007, one of whom has since left the club, have started a combined total of 32 games and will have cost the group £34m over the term of their contracts. No football club can sustain this level of expenditure on underperforming members of its squad,” wrote the finance director, Nick Igoe, in the accounts.
You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to work out who the unnamed players are. Freddie Ljungberg is the man no longer there but Kieron Dyer remains and came on as a second-half substitute against Owen Coyle’s side, who were 2-0 up at the time. Sullivan had even suggested Dyer should do the decent thing and retire but the 31- year-old wanted not only to prove his doubters wrong but to make his own views public.
“If you buy a football club and you are the owners, you can say what you want,” he said. “You do what you want as you own it. They are entitled to their opinions. But everyone has forgotten that I had probably a worse leg break than Aaron Ramsey and have had four operations to try and get it right. I have put everything I can to get fit for this club, but it is not enough for some people.
All I can do is get my head down and I have the backing of the manager and, hopefully, I can get there.” Dyer had little impact on a game that was already out of West Ham’s reach inside 16 minutes, with first Kevin Davies and then Jack Wilshere taking advantage of poor defending to beat the England goalkeeper Robert Green.
Bolton remained in control until Tamir Cohen was sent off for two yellow-card offences with 19 minutes left. Alessandro Diamanti pulled one back two minutes from the end and substitute Junior Stanislas hit the bar in added time, but Wanderers held on.
“We deserved it,” Davies said. “The first half was unbelievable, and defensively we were brilliant.”
West Ham United (4-4-2): Green; Faubert (Dyer, 47), Upson, Tomkins, Spector; Behrami, Parker, Kovac (Stanislas, 75), Diamanti; Cole, Franco (Mido, 67). Substitutes not used: Stech (gk), Ilan, Da Costa, Daprela.
Bolton Wanderers (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; Steinsson, Ricketts, Knight, Robinson; Lee, Cohen, Muamba, Wilshere (Taylor, 78); Elmander (Gardner, 75), K Davies. Substitutes not used: Al Habsi (gk), Riga, Klasnic, A O’Brien, Weiss.
Referee: L Probert (Wiltshire).
Booked: West Ham Kovac, Diamanti. Bolton Muamba,
Jaaskelainen, Cohen, Robinson, Wilshere.
Sent off: Cohen (71).
Man of the match: K Davies.