Dean Ashton raises the roof at Upton Park: The Times

17th September 2007

“Forzoni is a good man to have around the place”. Dean Ashton

In the meantime, Alan Curbishley, the West Ham United manager, is just pleased to have available a striker whose absence through a broken ankle seemed to be central to the club’s problems last season.

“When we had that bad run last year, I started looking back at the tapes of the games from the previous year and I saw the impact he had in bringing other people into the game,” Curbishley said. “I’ve been as desperate as everyone else to have him back.”

Ashton said that he remained optimistic by watching footage of himself scoring goals, while the club has hired a sports psychologist, Roberto Forzoni, who has recently worked with Andy Murray, the British No 1 tennis player. “I speak to him [Forzoni] when I need to,” Ashton said. “He is a good man to have around the place.”

Gareth Southgate must be wondering if West Ham also use the services of a witch doctor. His team made a mockery of the home side’s offside trap but failed to take their chances, with Tuncay Sanli the man who squandered so many that he apologised afterwards to his teammates.