This week saw the end of the Hammers dream for a dozen players, with utility defender Joey O'Brien the most senior amongst the pack. His appearances at the start of the season in the Europa League seemed to auger well but he dropped down the pecking order and, once again, injuries prevented him from seizing the opportunity at right back when Carl Jenkinson departed.
O'Brien will be fondly remembered for his important contributions during the first two years of the Allardyce era when he played over 30 times during each of the promotion year (2011-12) and Premiership bedding down year that followed. All in all, he accrued 101 appearances in all competitions.
O'Brien perhaps suffered for his versatility, switching between right and left back but also with some appearances at centre half during that awful injury crisis of the season before last. Defensively tenacious, Joey perhaps lacked the nous coming forward that Bilic desires from his full backs. At 30, O'Brien still has plenty to offer but will be hoping to stay injury-free - something that has eluded him both at West Ham and Bolton, and limited his Republic of Ireland appearances to 5 turn outs.
No doubt the bookies will cite Big Sam's Sunderland as a likely next destination for O'Brien. Farewell Joey and the very best of luck with the next chapter.
i thought he always done a good job when he was in the team.ReplyDelete
Solid. Unfussy. Allardyce-friendly. Pity for ROI he had all those injuries. He'd be a decent left back right now. Compares well with Stephen Ward and Robbie Brady is no defender IMO. Best of luck to him - I think he has another year or two at Prem level.ReplyDelete
Agree with above comments..always did a decent job. He will go to Sunderland, or perhaps the club he supports, Celtic.ReplyDelete