West Ham’s Dean Ashton is going to have to make do with glumly sitting on the subs bench and twiddling his thumbs whenever his team face one of the “Big 4”, the Guardian reports.
Apparently boss Alan Curbishley reckons that a snug, tight-fitting 4-5-1 is the way to go against the big boys and so far he has opted to play Carlton Cole as lone striker, shunting Ashton to the bench. Curbs said:
“It’s all right playing against the best teams but when you play them you have to do certain things tactically and I thought we did it the best way…We played 4-5-1 at Chelsea, kept it tight and were unlucky not to get something from the game. We went 4-5-1 against Manchester United and won and then again away at Arsenal, where we lost. But going to the Emirates is tough.
“Carlton Cole is best suited to being the lone striker – there’s a lot or work to be done. I spoke to Dean before the United game and he understood. There are no problems. We want to get the results and then we’ll worry about individuals.”
Despite Curbs assurances though, rumours are rife that Deano isn’t happy being a benchwarmer, Guardian journo Sachin Nakrani writes:
“The 24-year-old forward is reportedly unhappy with his lack of football this season. He has made only eight starts and could seek a move during the transfer window.”
And with clubs like Tottenham and Manchester United reportedly interested in Ashton, how long will he be prepared to sit idly on the bench during the big games?