So why is it that West Ham fans refuse to acknowledge just how good Carlton Cole is? I've just checked out some stats and they make amazing reading given the commonly held view that Carlton can't hit a barn door from five paces and only looked half decent due to the brilliant one on one coaching of the mighty Gianfranco Zola.
How about these stats?
1. Cole has now scored 10 goals in his last 15 games.
2. But a much more significant stat is that Cole has now STARTED 111 games for West Ham and has scored 42 goals.
3. That works out at one goal per 2.6 starts, or as near as damn it 1 goal per 2.5 starts.
3. Di Canio scored 51 goals from 137 starts, at a rate of one goal per 2.68 starts - inferior to Cole's you might notice.
4. Ashton got his 19 goals at a rate of 2.26, only marginally better than Cole's.
5. MacAvennie scored 60 from 169 starts, that's 1 goal per 2.81 starts, inferior to Cole's!
6. Cottee got his 160 goals at a rate of 1 per 2.21 games, not hugely better than Cole's!
7. Cole has suffered one major lean spell, when he scored twice in 33 games. And that was under Zola! Take away that barren patch and his record stands comparison with the West Ham gods!
And Cole, despite what his detractors claim, works his arse off for the team. Now, the Cole knockers should stuff those stats in their pipe and smoke on them.
And whilst inhaling the smoke, think. Remember, Cole has remained fantastically loyal to West Ham, never really complaining, even when obviously playing second fiddle to Ashton and being buggered about by Grant.
The team has never been set up around him, he was always had to fit himself into the team. He has never been loved, but he has never stopped striving. The guy deserves far more credit than he is given!