Ton-up West Ham star McCartney wants to play a hundred more
West Ham defender George McCarthy is keen to make his loan move from Sunderland to West Ham a permanent one
When West Ham defender George McCartney stepped out at Upton Park on Saturday he was achieving something he thought was way beyond him.
The 30-year-old’s appearance against Crystal Palace was his 100th for the Hammers and it was a milestone that he cherishes.
“When I left the last time, I didn’t expect to get the opportunity to come back to a club like West Ham,” said McCartney, who is currently on a season-long loan from Sunderland.
“Thankfully the manager and the chairman gave me that chance and I am grateful to them.”
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McCartney is hoping to be grateful to them again come the end of the season as a full-time deal at a West Ham side in the Premier League would be just what the Nortnern Ireland international ordered.
“If there is promotion then I am sure that the chairmen and the manager will be looking to bring in quite a few new players,” said the left back.
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“I have got a year left at Sunderland and hopefully I can sort it out.
“If West Ham are back in the Premier League and willing to talk about giving me a contract I will be delighted and more than happy to stay down here.
“I would be over the moon if that was to happen.”
McCartney was as frustrated as anyone about Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Palace, but put it down to the rigours of having to play so many games a man short.
“I don’t think it is particularly because we played Tuesday and Saturday,” he explained. “I think it is more the fact that we have played three games with 10 men.
“Eventually it catches up with you, plus if you take into consideration the travelling.
“I know there are no excuses, we didn’t perform today, but I think Palace had no midweek game and had the extra four days and today, in the first half, they were the better team.”
What was doubly frustrating was that after the magnificence of their performance against Blackpool last Tuesday, they could not do the same in front of their own fans.
“It is very disappointing,” said McCartney. “I think we have probably been better away from home at times this season.
“But it is a long season, 46 games, and hopefully if we can just keep going for the next 14 games, the fans will be more than happy come the end of the season if we can achieve promotion.”
So what are the highlights of those first 100 games for McCartney? He doesn’t have to think for long.
“I think the highlight has to be the first season I had in the Premier League under Alan Curbishley,” he said.
“When I think how we escaped relegation, I don’t think the team or the manager got the necessary credit, it was a terrific effort.
“Then the following season we finished 10th and probably should have gone higher had we finished the season stronger.
“But there have been plenty of ups and hopefully having been given the chance to come back to the club I can round off the season by helping them back into the Premier League.”
Now that would be a perfect way for McCartney to celebrate that century at the club as he continues to make the left back slot his own.
Here’s to the next 100!