Monday, 17 September 2007

The Jinx

Dean Ashton believes it could be another year before the ankle he seriously injured while on England duty, is 100 per cent again. Ashton, who badly broke the ankle and damaged ligaments in a training ground collision with Chelsea's Shaun Wright-Phillips before Steve McClaren's first match as England coach, also wants his international place back, although next month's European Championship qualifiers will come too soon for the 23-year-old front man. The former Crewe and Norwich striker scored his first Premiership goal for more than 18 months when he netted the third in West Ham's 3-0 win over Middlesbrough and said today: "It's been a long, long time since I scored a Premiership goal so there were a lot of emotions when that one went in. Even though it was only from three yards out, it meant a lot. I just need to play games to improve the sharpness but there is more I can do in terms of the ankle. It's not something which is just going to go away, I need to work for anything up to a year before I see that the ankle is back to where it was. They are only little things but I have to keep working on it. I still see John Green regularly and work with him."

The big striker also revealed that watching video tapes of him scoring before he was injured, kept him going through the long months of recuperation. "I've sat there during those long months out and and watched videos of me scoring," he said. "Sometimes it's the only way to keep yourself going. I've watched the 2006 FA Cup Final against Liverpool where I managed to score and however painful it was to lose, I was really proud of the team and myself in that game. I'll probably keep on watching it."
Alan Curbishley, meanwhile, admitted it would have been easy to have put Ashton back into his team before he was ready. "I've been as desperate as everyone else to have Dean back but you can't force the issue," he said. "People wanted to see him back into the team but we knew the worst thing we could have done was to have rushed it. Now he has to keep going."

The only problem for Curbishley following the victory over Middlesbrough, is that he may have to wait a little longer before seeing Ashton and Craig Bellamy develop their striking partnership. The Welsh international limped off after just 26 minutes at Upton Park on Saturday with a groin problem and Curbishley said: "I have £20 million of players out at the moment and now Craig Bellamy may be joining them so I'm pleased we have the points on the board. After the helter skelter of the last few seasons, we need a nice solid season this time around." According to the Mirror, Bellamy's lay-off could be a lengthy one and is just another example of West Ham's injury jinx. Curbishley was hoping to have £7million midfielder Scott Parker back but he has suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury while Anton Ferdinand, Kieron Dyer and Julien Faubert are all out. "I've got £20million worth of players out and I may have another one out with Bellamy now," said Curbishley. "I said to Eggert in the summer 'I want a nice solid season this year.' And he said 'yeah, let's get into Europe.' But when you lose players like we have it makes it a bit more difficult. I'm happy to get the win but we must not get carried a way."


RapidHammer said...

Let's hope West Ham's magician will beat the jinx put on his club (by a revengeful witch from Sheffield maybe?). It might be a duel like Merlin battling it out with mean old Madame Mim in Disney's "Sword in the Stone".
Will Curbishley be the magician who helps West Ham become the future ruler of the Britons like Merlin did with poor young Arthur?
Curbishley said to West Ham chairman Eggert Magnusson in the summer "I want a nice solid season this year. I think a top ten-finish would be fine."
But Eggert said "Yeah, let's get into Europe."
Come on, Curbs, you can't take a back seat with West Ham, you have to challenge mean old Madame Mim!
And all credits to Curbs for the great results so far despite the long injury list!

minijonb said...

It makes you wonder if there is something lacking in the physio room at this club. There have been far too many injuries for over a year now.

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