West Ham defender: ‘I was never going to leave the Hammers’
Hammers defender James Tomkins celebrated signing a new-deal at Upton Park with a man-of-the-match performance in the narrow win against Nottingham Forest
Things were a little worrying last week at Portsmouth.
Despite West Ham’s battling win, manager Sam Allardyce did not allow gathered journalists to speak to defender James Tomkins amid speculation that he handed in a transfer request and was heading back to the Premier League.
A week later and all is well in the Hammers dressing room after the 22-year-old put pen to paper on a new four and a half year deal at Upton Park.
Despite the rumours, there was really only one thing that the centre half wanted to do.
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“There was no doubts for me really,” revealed Tomkins after his man-of-the-match display in the 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest.
“I have always been committed to this club. I have been here since I was eight and obviously there was speculation, but it is nice to put that to bed now and I can concentrate on the rest of the season.”
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It is little wonder that the likes of Newcastle and QPR have been sniffing round the youngster. He has been in superb form all season and is fast developing into a possible captain of the future.
“I feel confident and I feel that I am growing with every game and gaining good experience playing in this league, both mentally and physically,” he said.
“I am enjoying my football at the minute and as long as we keep winning game I will keep developing and getting better as a player which is what I want.”
Despite his tender years, Saturday was Tomkins’ 100th game in claret and blue, but predictably he is looking forward to the next hundred rather than backwards.
“You always remember your first game and your first goal,” recalled Tomkins. “They have been two highlights for me, while it is also nice to be top of the league which I haven’t been for those 100 games.
“It’s great to reach a hundred, but hopefully there are many more to come.”
Saturday’s win probably won’t live long in the memory for Tomkins, but he was just delighted to get the win in the end.
“Forest certainly created more chances than we would have liked, but it is all about conveting them and they didn’t,” he said.
“The penalty came at a great time for us when we weren’t playing too well and they wouldn’t have been happy, but the decision went our way.”
It did, but the decision of Tomkins to stay at West Ham is likely to be an even greater benefit.