Premier League

West Ham return for Dyer another false dawn?

DyerThere are few players in the Premier League at the moment who can claim to hit by as many injuries as Kieron Dyer. It doesn’t take much for the former England midfielder to get injured, although ironically he emerged from his infamous on pitch fight with former Newcastle teammate Lee Bowyer unscathed. During his time at Newcastle and now at West Ham, Dyer has suffered one injury after another and arguably prevented the speedy midfielder from fulfilling his potential to be an England star. Dyer is now ready to return from his latest injury to play for West Ham, but can he make a difference to their fortunes and will he ever be the player he once was?

West Ham must be regretting their decision to fork out £6 million for the former Newcastle midfielder back in 2007, as since that big money move Dyer has only managed to start 4 games for the Hammers due to a lack of fitness. It is such a shame for a player who looked so promising when he was a youngster at Ipswich. In his 3 years at Portman Road his devastating pace tore defences to pieces and established himself as one of England’s hottest prospects outside of the Premier League. He requested to leave the Tractor Boys to further his career and was subsequently signed by Ruud Gullit, one of the few good things the Dutchman did in his forgettable time at the Toon. Dyer was a good acquisition for Newcastle, but his injury-prone attribute was slowly becoming clear and then he was involved in those infamous scenes at St James’ Park back in 2005:

That fight with Bowyer signalled the start of the end of his career at Newcastle, and whilst many Magpies fans blame the former Leeds midfielder for the incident more than Dyer himself, it still left a bitter taste in the mouth of many supporters. When he was shipped out to West Ham in 2007 I’m sure most Newcastle fans were glad to get a return on a player who was a good asset for the North East club, but didn’t make enough appearances to warrant his expensive wages. A bitter-sweet departure represented a great move for Dyer and potentially a good signing for West Ham, but an inevitable injury soon put paid to that.

In one of his first appearances for the Hammers, Dyer broke his leg in two places in a Carling Cup tie against Bristol Rovers and hence his misery had begun. He didn’t appear again for West Ham for the rest of the 2007/08 season and there were fears for Dyer’s career. After an extended rehabilitation programme and 17 months out, Dyer eventually made his comeback in January this year where he featured for West Ham in a FA Cup match against Barnsley and got a warm reception from the Upton Park crowd. Further injuries plagued Dyer including a hamstring injury that has kept him out since September, but now he is ready for what might be on final chance.

Is this last chance saloon time for Kieron Dyer? Once again manager Gianfranco Zola is saying that Dyer looks sharp, but how many times have we heard that before? It is a shame that such a talented player has had his career all but ruined by injuries and I for one hope that he can come back for good this time starting against Burnley in the Premiership on Saturday . But the odds are not good for the former England international who won 30 caps for his country, and surely it is only a matter of time before injury strikes him again. For his sake he needs a run of games, otherwise he will always be remembered as the injury-prone player who had a fight on the pitch with his own teammate. But does Dyer deserve better than that?

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