Collins and Tomkins will be crucial if we cash in on Reid

David Bowden on how the Irons could cope without their star Kiwi

So it appears to many that Winston Reid is entering his final month of his West Ham United career. The New Zealand skipper sees his contract run out at the end of the season and despite the Hammers’ flying start to the campaign, which saw Sam Allardyce’s men in fifth place after 14 games, it looks as though Reid sees his future elsewhere.

It would be sensible for the Irons to sell the Kiwi if an offer comes in in January and there are signs the centre-half will continue to rebuff the offer on the table. It is thought that Arsenal are monitoring his situation and whilst I can’t blame Winston, it’s a real shame that he sees the north Londoners as a better proposition. I remember his debut in the Avram Grant season away at Aston Villa and he was awful, and in truth looked like a fish out of water most of that year.

Since Allardyce arrived, Reid has improved dramatically. It has, of course, been a roller coaster ride for the 26-year-old, who has been stuck in relegation battles and a promotion season throughout his time here but now with the Hammers on a crest of a wave, it seems an odd time for him to want to leave.

With that in mind, it is crucial that the board and Allardyce come up with contingency plans for when he does leave, whether that is in January or on a free in the summer. In James Collins and James Tomkins, we’ve a solid duo to step in. The latter having bounced back from his moment in the shade and has been a revelation at the back, producing solid displays against Newcastle and West Brom – scoring the winner at the Hawthorns in the process.

The Hammers number 5, like Mark Noble, is a West Ham academy product, and a firm fans’ favourite. He is a player who I have no qualms in replacing the New Zealander. His centre-half partner Collins is also having a stunning season at the back for the Irons. In the past I have had my doubts over the Welshman, I’ll never forgive him for that back pass at Reading away a few years ago, but that’s all in the past now. His never-say-die attitude is testament to this season’s newly found grit and determination.

He blocks and heads everything thrown at him, and you just know that when a ball is flung into the box in the dying minutes he is the one who will climb the highest to head the ball clear of danger. Should Reid leave, it is reassuring to know the Irons have those two waiting in the wings to step up and come into the side but his departure would just leave us with a set of defensive midfielders and Reece Burke as cover for the above duo.

Whilst I believe Burke has huge potential and a massive future at his club, to make him third choice centre back so soon would put unnecessary pressure on the youngster so we would have to delve into the January market for a defender. If this is the last piece I write for Blowing Bubbles about Winston, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the centre half.

You are a typical West Ham signing, hopeless at first but you have come on leaps and bounds, and under Allardyce you have turned into a terrific player. Thank you for the memories in particular that volley against Millwall and good luck in the future wherever it may take you.

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