Dyer’s hitting back at critics

IT WAS A sickening tackle which left the midfielder writhing on the ground in agony, his leg broken in two places and his future career in doubt, writes DAVE EVANS. Aaron Ramsey for Arsenal against Stoke City a little over a week ago? No, it was the momen

IT WAS A sickening tackle which left the midfielder writhing on the ground in agony, his leg broken in two places and his future career in doubt, writes DAVE EVANS.

Aaron Ramsey for Arsenal against Stoke City a little over a week ago? No, it was the moment when Kieron Dyer's move from Newcastle United to West Ham turned into a nightmare, and something he has been struggling with ever since that fateful day in August 2007.

"People forget, I had probably a worse leg break than Aaron Ramsey," said the 31-year-old midfield flyer who has 33 England international caps to his name.

"I've had four operations to try and get it right.

"I've given everything I can to get fit for this club, but it's not enough for some people. All I can do is get my head down and get the backing of the manager."

Dyer is of course referring to comments made by new owner David Sullivan, who rounded on the former controllers at Upton Park by singling out the likes of Freddie Ljungberg and Dyer as where the money at West Ham has been wasted.

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It is something that grates with the former Newcastle United midfielder and not surprisingly really. Dyer signed in a �6million deal from St James' Park in the summer of 2007 with a reputation for injuries.

He had come back from a previous series of injuries with the help of former West Ham physio John Green, the man who attempted to prolong both Michael Owen and Dean Ashton's careers.

When he arrived at Upton Park he was fit and raring to go and then manager Alan Curbishley had earmarked a central midfield combination with Scott Parker as the way to go when disaster struck in just his third game in claret and blue.

A terrible tackle, which went unpunished, by Bristol Rovers defender Joe Jacobson left him stretchered off with a leg break in two places and since then everything he has done during his rehabilitation has been measured against his �60,000 a week wage.

"There is one player who hardly plays at all who might have to accept retirement," said Sullivan of Dyer. Perhaps it was one of his moments of reverse psychology, maybe it was just an ill-considered remark, but within just a couple of weeks of saying it, Dyer was back on the substitute's bench for the Hammers.

He came on for 15 minutes at Old Trafford; then played an hour in the reserves victory over Chelsea, before replacing Julien Faubert after just 47 minutes of Saturday's clash with Bolton.

It was the perfect answer to Sullivan's sideways swipe.

"At the end of the day, if you buy a football club, you can say what you want, do what you want. It's your own business and they're entitled to their opinion," said a clearly piqued Dyer.

"It's good to hear the crowd getting behind me. Hopefully I can change some other people's minds."

Dyer faced an uphill task to make an impression on Saturday. Already 2-0 down, he found it tough, despite almost scoring with his first touch when he was put in by Carlton Cole's clever flick.

Dyer was certainly surprised with the way that Bolton played on Saturday: "We usually start like a house on fire, we are usually quick out of the traps and get in people's faces, but we were not," admitted the midfielder.

"All credit to Bolton. We expected them to sit off and let us have possession and hit us on the break, but they came straight at us and they were excellent."

So what about his own performance? Dyer is not comfortable talking about things like that after so long on the injured list.

"It's not about individuals, it's about the team and we were poor today and did not play well, we deserved to lose," he confessed.

Comments about the amount of cash Dyer earns while sitting on the sidelines are obviously hurtful to the player. It almost suggests that he has no interest in the fate of West Ham, but it is clear that he is thinking deeply about things and the influence he may have in the run-in.

"The most important thing for me is to get in a reserve game where I can get 90 minutes under my belt," he said. "For the team, the next two games (away at Chelsea and Arsenal) won't have a bearing on whether we stay in this league or not.

"I still believe if we do well in the home games and maybe possibly Fulham away, if we do well there, I believe, we will stay in the league."

Does that sound like someone who doesn't care about West Ham and is only in it for the money?

If Ramsey can get back into the game in half the time that it has taken Dyer, then he will still have had a hard time on the sidelines.

For Dyer, it is time for everyone to get behind him, because regardless of the money he earns, regardless of the transfer fee he cost, he could still play a vital part in West Ham's battle for survival.

Even Sullivan would be pleased with that.

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