Friday, 4 May 2012

Carlton Cole v Cardiff: dozy or immense?

There are players in our ranks that stir up controversy amongst the fans. Noble is certainly one, with some believing the guy walks (albeit slowly) on water, whilst others insist he is more of a Brian than a Jesus Christ. And Carlton Cole is another, with last night's match bringing the strengths and weaknesses of Carlton very much into focus.

To my eyes last night, Cole looked laboured. There were moments of great skill - like when, late in the second half, he pulled the ball down on the edge of the Cardiff box and laid it off. But there were others when, given the opportunity to run at the Cardiff defence or chase a long ball knocked into space, he looked as if he was running across a field of treacle. The legs were moving but he just wasn't getting anywhere.

In the credit account, he forced a superb save from Marshall with an excellent header and cleared the ball off the line with Green stranded in no keeper land. On the minus side, that header apart - when there was no time to think - there seemed to be no hunger to score as Cole looked for others in the box rather than going for goal himself even though his confidence should have been high after scoring a brace on Saturday.

A Cardiff fan posted on here that Cole's was the best target man performance he had seen all season, which makes you stop and think, but I don't disagree with that, as I have always argued that Cole plays that role superbly. The trouble is, he used to look electric quick too, but last night that burst of speed wasn't there and, to my eyes, he looked very much at the fag end of a long season, a season through which he has carried a deep seated injury. My worry is that we have knackered the workhorse by asking him to carry too heavy a load for too long!


The Shak said...

HF, I have asked myself that very same question during and after the game last night.In my opinion, Cole was pretty good last night though.He didn't score but he brought others into play and held the ball superbly with his skills.I think he might be feeling the exhaustion of a long season,like you mentioned,and that is probably why he looked kinda slow and tired when he ran at the Welsh defence.Thinking of it,we don't have any other forwards who could have done the job better.Carew is crap,let's face it.Baldock and Maynard need someone besides them.I reckon Dr Evil might have also given specific instructions to Coley to bring others into play rather than going for glory himself.On Monday,who knows,maybe we won't even start with Cole upfront.Just my opinion. COYI!

Anonymous said...

My mate who's nan is a friend of the tea lady at UP told me that his legs have gone, knackers yard for the cart horse, it's the only humane solution.

Anonymous said...

Anony-mouse says,

He was terrific last night. He has undoubtedly slowed over the last year/ 18 months due to injuries and is never going to be a 25 goal a year target man. And when his confidence is out his first touch can be poor, or being generous to him, made to look poor cos he always has at least two players around him to take advantage of the slightest hint of poor control.

However, when his confidence is up (and CC is very much a confidence player), like it has been for the last month he is something else entirely. His holding up of the ball and winning of virtually lost causes was great last night. As usual he occupied at least two and up to three Cardiff defenders at a time. This gives space for others, notably Nolan and Vaz Te (and though one swallow doesn't make a Summer, increasingly Collison as well) to benefit from.

His is an utterly unselfish role and like the Shak says no one can do what he can do for us in a system that has comfortably set a new record for away wins, that is unlikely to be broken for many a year.

Allardyce has been very careful to protect Cole's old bones and not to over-use him. Carew, who was signed as back up for Cole's role has let Carlton, his team-mates and his manager down with his ' I don't give a f*ck cos I'm only here for the wages' attitude.

So Carlton has to bear the burden on his own. The Cardiff lad rated it the best target man performance he's seen this season and all I'd say is that it would have taken some display from another striker to rate higher.

Come on Carlton- keep it up son. Two more games and then you can have all the rest you need. We need you!

Basildon-iron said...

I thought cole was immense last night, he was quite clearly carrying a knock from the first half (on top of the knock that kept him out previously and saw him substituted early against hull). Carlton cole has never been an out and out goal scorer and never will be but if we go up we need to find a Bellamy type player to work along side cole and hassle and hurry the opposition, Maynard and baldock are just not aggressive enough for me.

Even though he was carrying a knock he didn't seem anymore laboured than he normally does but one things for sure when Carlton cole is bang up for it we are definitely a stronger team. Thought he deserved a hell of a lot of credit for last night and heres to another barnstormer on Monday!!

Anonymous said...

carlton cole is poor, for someone of his size he should be powering his way through defences...his first touch is poor and he is not intelligent on the pitch whatsoever

Stani said...

I think he's been injured for quite some time now, as is evident by Pam's wrapping up of him in cotton wool. This makes his performances even the more praiseworthy.

And bloody refs always give him a hard time.

“It would mean the world to me to take West Ham back to the Premier League."

Anonymous said...

Great clearance off the line from Carlton last night - stopped a CERTAIN goal for Cardiff. Also took the knocks off their 'defence',as he's been doing all season.