Piquionne celebrates scoring against Spurs
I’ve been openly critical of Freddie Piquionne on this blog and I feel it’s with good reason. I once wrote a post calling Carlton Cole the ‘perpetual infuriator’, due to faltering levels of performance based on his effort rates, and this is slightly similar to Piquionne…
The reason Cole infuriates me will be the same as many Irons fans; I consider him, on his day, to be a player with enough class to play for one of Europe’s top clubs. (I was going to use the world-class description then, but thought better!) The only problem is that his performances are just too unpredictable – one game he can dribble through five players and score, the next he won’t even jump to win a header.
I always support Cole with enthusiasm because he always shows enough to keep me on his side, plus he must be one of our longest-serving players now, despite having the opportunity to move away following relegation. In the modern game I can’t help but reward loyalty.
Piquionne shows similar traits in his game but, while I will always support a player in claret and blue, I find myself totally unforgiving when I judge him. There have been a couple of matches when Piquionne has shown moments of brilliant skill and I’ve started to think that, with a run of games, he could be a decent player for us.
But when he does get a run of games he struts around the pitch like a poor-man’s Dimitar Berbatov. And that’s exactly what he reminds me of. For me, he plays with a very similar style to Berbatov; rarely breaking into sprint, ruining attacking build-ups with failed attempts at taking on his defender and an apparently complete inability to win a header despite being 6”2’. Only, unlike Berbatov, Piquionne can’t change a game with a single moment of magic, so I find him much harder to tolerate.
Whether this is a perceived lack of effort, or an actual lack of effort, I can’t say 100%, but I do know this: I am a mere 5”10’ and when I play football twice a week I take pride in tracking back to help my team, in out-jumping blokes taller than me through simple determination, and if I lose the ball I’ll chase it until my team wins it back – and I’m not being paid tens of thousands of pounds a week to do it. But I sure spend a lot of money playing this sport and watching the team I love – and like most fans all I ask is that the players put in enough effort to remotely justify their wages!
It’s not my style to dislike a West Ham player… Actually, I’ve just realised that’s a lie – I literally got annoyed having to look at Matthew Upson during the last few months of his time with us. Other players have annoyed me but still retained my support, as I mentioned with Carlton Cole. Another example is Luis Boa Morte, who wound me up no end but I could never get on his back too much because he always tried hard.
The latest news suggests that Piquionne could be on his way in a loan deal, possibly to join Ilunga at Doncaster, and I welcome this. I was actually surprised we kept hold of him considering the signing of Carew, who in my opinion is a vastly superior back-up striker. I’d guess that it was either too late to ship him out, or no one would take him.
So thanks, Piquionne, because there were actually some good times despite the negativity of this post. The winner against Spurs was a key factor in what became one of my moments of the season, and I remember him running from the right-hand side in central midfield and scoring a wonderful goal, even though I’ve forgotten which game it was (possibly Barnsely in the Cup?)! I even enjoyed hearing him in interviews as he certainly talked the talk, even if he couldn’t back it up with the walk…
But all in all, for me he is one of the few remaining ‘dead wood’ players that the club has been needing to shift for too long now!
Onwards and upwards!