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Ironside: Quiet man Joey has helped put a spring in West Ham’s step

Joey O'Brien netted his first goal of the season in Monday's 1-1 draw with Stoke. Pic: PA wire Joey O'Brien netted his first goal of the season in Monday's 1-1 draw with Stoke. Pic: PA wire

Chris Wilkerson, London24 West Ham blogger
Thursday, November 8, 2012
12:25 PM

It is hard to explain the euphoria of a 0-0 draw to someone who does not understand football, but that was a fantastic result against Manchester City at the weekend.

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About our blogger

Name: Chris Wilkerson

Twitter handle: @The_Wilkerson

Regular Attendee

Favourite player: Mark Noble or Winston Reid

Most memorable game: Playoff Final

Predicted finish: 12th

It is that backbone we now have, one that was not evident in the desperate relegation years, which has helped us find pride in our side again.

Another positive is seeing the likes of Leo Chambers, Rob Hall and Jordan Spence in our matchday squad. Whilst injuries have opened up these bench places, the experience must be great for them, and shows the academy is still alive and kicking.

"Here’s to Joey, a man who has earned the respect of the faithful with consistency, professionalism and assured performances"

Chris Wilkerson on Joey O’Brien’s season so far

With a squad full of internationals, new signings and home-grown boys, there will always be an unsung hero or two.

Quietly doing his job at right back on Saturday night was one perfect example. Hardly putting a foot out of place, consistently solid, if unspectacular, Joey O’Brien deserves plenty of plaudits for his contribution to this side.

Considering his horrendous luck with injuries, little was expected of him when he joined on a free last summer.

Aside from maybe Reading away last season, it is hard to think of the Irishman having a poor game in claret and blue.

Just as Guy Demel had settled into the side and shown Premier League quality, he got injured. With Vaz Te out too, our right side has been decimated.

Against the champions O’Brien kept his side of the pitch quiet. His history in midfield keeps him calm on the ball too, he rarely just smashes the ball up the junction and away as far as it can go.

He seems to know his strengths well too, handling his limitations and playing his game. He is also another clear example of how the Hammers are much more of a squad than years gone by.

He has filled in at various positions, performs stoically whether he starts or is resigned to the bench and comes across as the consummate professional. Remembering the Bentley Brigade; if only for more Joey O’Brien’s back then.

So, here’s to Joey, a man who has earned the respect of the faithful with consistency, professionalism and assured performances.

And maybe we’ll even sing Joey O’Brien to the tune of ‘come on you Irons!’ one day.

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