|i just want to thank my parents, and Big Sam and my acting coach and .....|
Much pilloried since the Mirallas' moment against Everton where in an effort to get the ineffectual Mark Clattenburg to intervene against ever-increasing Everton ultra-violence, Tomka took a dive feigning a facial - and found himself in yet another media storm (and the recipient of a VWH-BAFTA for on-field thespianship).
Having finally put the disappointing HOWIE niteclub incident and subsequent court case to bed, James was clearly ready to focus upon his footie and trying to break into an almost inpenetrable Hammers' central defence where Winston Reid and James Collins continued to put in star performance after star performance.
A less committed sort might have been banging on the manager's door (i.e. getting his agent to leak tales of discontent to the press and anybody else who might listen) but Tomka is a true Hammer, Basildon born and academy educated, and he dug in and focused upon his own game. The smart money remains on a Tomkins-Reid Central defensive pairing leading us into Europe at the Olympic Stadium, and thankfully the lad seems to realise that and waited patiently to get back into the side.
And since returning we are again seeing the extent of his ability. Pace, presence and skill. He reminds this observer of Steve Potts (only much bigger of course!) - Hammer of the year in 1995 and now youth team coach. No doubt many's a West Ham manager fantasised about a Pottsy with three more inches (in height of course!). Tomka may well be that dream.
The Mirallas incident distracted from the much more important issue of just how well Tomkins is developing. tonight we again saw how good the lad is - both defensively and popping up with a winning goal from a setpiece! Long may it continue. Let's hope we can nail down Reid to a new contract and get ready for a couple of years of defensive stability.