Unbeatable but silent Green takes plaudits for West Ham
Hammers goalkeeper Robert Green was in stunning form as West Ham won 2-0 at Hull City on Saturday
�When West Ham were relegated last May a mass exodus of their star players was expected.
Player of the Year Scott Parker, Demba Ba, and Matty Upson all went their separate ways, returning to the Premier League, but for England international goalkeeper Robert Green there was no bids.
There were rumours that the 31-year-old would go abroad, perhaps to Germany, but when nothing came of those stories, it soon became apparent that he was prepared to stay at Upton Park and try and assist West Ham in their battle to get back into the Premier League.
And Hammers supporters can be very grateful that he did. He has been in exemplary for this season and after returning from a recent operation, his fitness has improved and so have his displays – culminating in a magnificent man-of-the-match display against Hull City on Saturday.
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It would be nice to have spoken to the goalkeeper himself about what was undoubtedly one of his best performances in a West Ham shirt, but Green has remained silent to all sections of the press as well as the club’s own tv station, since that fateful day in South Africa in 2010 when he let the ball through his grasp to gift a World Cup goal to the United States.
He is still reminded of the moment in every game by the opposing fans, but it does not seem to have affected his performances. It certainly didn’t on Saturday when he made at least half a dozen top class saves to keep Hull City at bay.
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He may not be speaking, but his manager and his team-mates certainly were and they were mightily impressed.
Carlton Cole was just one of those to praise the West Ham number one. “I told him on the pitch,” said Cole. “I said, ‘listen that is one of the best performances I have seen from you in a long time, since before the World Cup’
“I know what ‘Greeny’ can do, I’ve seen it in training. When he wants to be, he is a world class goalkeeper and he just needs to keep that going. The defenders are going top be there to help him as well, so he just has to keep going and he will get whatever he wants.”
Jack Collison may have scored one of the goals to help the Hammers to victory at the KC Stadium, but he knew just how important the contribution of Green was.
“I would say that Rob was the stand-out performer for us against Hull,” said Collison. “He made a couple of unbelievable saves and that’s what I think you can expect from him.
“He is still brilliant at what he does and he is very important to this team. He is a big character to have around and you could see that in the last 20 minutes today.
“He put in a world class performance and it wasn’t a performance you are used to seeing in the Championship.”
He was right, it was exceptional and for new boy Sam Baldock, he has never seen anything better.
“I think that performance was probably one of the best I’ve ever seen live, he was outstanding today” said the diminutive striker.
“I wasn’t here that long before he got injured, but he is the best keeper I’ve ever worked with. He is quality and he demands so much out of everybody else and himself.”
For manager Sam Allardyce, he must be delighted that there were no bids in the summer for his goalkeeper. He has been one of the stars of the campaign so far.
“He has got better by the fact that he is cured of his knee problem,” explained the boss.
“There was a slight tear in the cartilage and he had to go for the operation. But because he has recovered two weeks ahead of schedule, he feels brilliant. His whole well-being as a footballer, as a goalkeeper is far better that what it was before the op.
“You are seeing a man with great stature and great ability between the posts. At the moment he looks pretty impregnable and the opposition come up against him and it feels like he will save everything.”
Praise indeed and richly deserved.
It was Baldock who asked why we weren’t talking to the man himself, unaware of Green’s current press vow of silence.
But at the moment, Green is doing all his talking on the pitch and it is more probably eloquent than anything he might have to say.