WHO Poll
Q: 2020/2021 Where will we finish up this season?
a. Top Four, Champions League here we come
8%
  
b. 5th-7th Europa League is well within our grasp
4%
  
c. 8th to 14th anywhere in mid table is about right
31%
  
d. We're in a dog fight before a ball has been kicked and we'll do well to finish 17th or just above
28%
  
e. GSB have derailed our season before a ball has been kicked, the Championship beckons
29%
  



Sir Alf 5:09 Fri Jan 8
Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
May not have been what we needed ( well at this time anyway ) but seems he making a good go of his move to Belgium. Good on him. Honest, humble geezer from what we knew?

Here's the story:

Josh Cullen is proving central to Anderlecht's hopes of making the Champions League

Josh Cullen spent 15 years with West Ham and rose through their academy ranks. But the midfielder made just 10 first-team appearances amid a series of loans
Last summer, he received a head-turning offer from Belgian club Anderlecht. Now Cullen, 24, has found himself central to manager Vincent Kompany's plans
Anderlecht are fourth in the table and pushing for a Champions League place. And Cullen is delighted to have finally found a platform for regular football.

Having previously hoped it would be on his doorstep, Josh Cullen has finally found what he has been looking for since moving over 200 miles away to Anderlecht.

During his time coming through the ranks at West Ham, the dream for Essex-born Cullen was to make the first-team, become a regular and one day lead them out as captain.

Cullen ticked off the first but the opportunities to work towards two of his other targets and realise his potential, in the end, never materialised under a number of different Hammers managers.

Instead, after 15 years at West Ham which he maturely reflects on respectfully and positively, it is Vincent Kompany's Anderlecht who have made Cullen, 24, central to their plans and given him the platform to play top-flight football regularly.

Plotting a renewed push for the Champions League, Anderlecht spotted an opportunity with Cullen, identifying him as someone who can help take them there.

Only a few months into his new life in Brussels, the switch is one that has left both parties pleased with their decisions.

Anderlecht reached the winter break well-placed, fourth in the table, delighted with Cullen's contribution and value for money after arriving for around £500,000.

He may have been little known to some in Belgium, but Cullen has quickly established himself as a hardworking and valuable midfielder who brings a composure and stability to Kompany's young side in the holding role.

Cullen, meanwhile, now has the sense of importance that he has long craved.

'That's what you want to feel,' he said. 'Like you're wanted, be backed by the club you're at and I felt that from the first conversation I had with the people at the club, the sporting director and manager. It's nice to know you're being noticed by a club the size of Anderlecht.'

After shining in the EFL during loans away at Bradford, Bolton and Charlton and aged 24, it was now or never for Cullen at West Ham last summer.

Exactly what was in store for him at the London Stadium was uncertain while the safety of a Championship return was a possibility.

But Cullen opted for the calculated risk of a move abroad after a head turning offer from Anderlecht.

'It was a tough decision but also I knew it was time for me to get out and really kick on with my career and come to somewhere I felt I was going to play regularly which is the most important thing for a player,' he said.

'Going hand in hand with that, to have such a fantastic opportunity and one as exciting as this one – to come to a club as big as Anderlecht with huge history and massive ambition going forward, it all fell into place perfectly.

'It was a decision that was not a sad one. I was excited and looking forward to the challenge.'

Anderlecht's charm offensive was persuasive and was led by sporting director Peter Verbeke and Kompany.

'The manager was a big draw, knowing the type of career he had as a player,' Cullen said.

The Manchester City legend has not disappointed.

'When you've got a manager who had the career he had, playing with the players he did, working under the managers he's worked under, helping build my knowledge about the game and where I can improve, it's like gold dust for any young player,' the Ireland midfielder says.

'He is massively dedicated to his job, relentless in the way he works, the amount of detail he goes into.

'He's always at the training ground before anyone gets there and always there when everyone else is leaving.

'He just wants to be the best and that rubs off on everyone around the place. If we're looking at how we're pressing he looks at the best examples. So we'd watch clips of Liverpool.

'If we're looking and how we're playing out from the back we're trying to watch Manchester City.

'If we're defending deep we're watching Atletico Madrid and how they do it.

'I know and he understands we're not going to be as good as Man City or Liverpool overnight but he is striving to push everyone to be the best so we're watching the best teams at that particular phase of the game.

He's got the makings of being a brilliant manager in the long run and also he's a great guy away from the pitch as well.

'You feel comfortable if you need to go and speak to him about anything. From the first few months I've had here he's creating a great culture where everyone is moving in the same direction and all working together to strive to be the best we can be as a group and team.

'That's why his ambition, ours as a team and the ambition of the club with the history it has, is to win titles.'

While his prospects at Anderlecht look much brighter and the full reasons why regular chances at West Ham were never forthcoming, Cullen still looks back on his time favourably.

He said: 'When I was in and around the first team for so long, getting sniffs here and there but not quite the starts or as many games as I wanted, it was frustrating but I only really look back on it with positive stuff to say and positive thoughts.

'I grew up as a West Ham fan and achieved my dream of playing in West Ham's first-team.

'If you'd said to me 'you'll play for West Ham's first team' when I walked through the doors at Chadwell Heath at nine years old I probably would not have believed you and been over the moon with it.

'It happened and I'm grateful for that, thankful to everyone at West Ham all the way through who gave me the opportunity and helped me to become the player and person I am today.

'A lot of people sent me well wishes and that sums up the type of people at West Ham. It's a good club with good people working there.'

One of those people was club captain Mark Noble, someone Cullen looks up to and used one as a sounding board as he weighed up his options after Anderlecht's offer was accepted.

'He was just another person I turned to at the time,' Cullen explained. 'He said 'go and express yourself and make waves in your own career.'

A few months on since he took that advice, it is so far, so good.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Mex Martillo 11:53 Tue Jan 12
Re: Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
I suppose we don’t have a buy back clause if Cullen comes good?

Mex Martillo 11:52 Tue Jan 12
Re: Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
It is a good story
Thanks Sir Alf

one iron 7:16 Tue Jan 12
Re: Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
Josh and his dad used to come on the hornchurch coach both will always be welcome in the future.

geoffpikey 8:54 Fri Jan 8
Re: Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
He's not first name for them.

Less so than for us, but he's still backup in a poorer league.

Good luck two him though. Time will tell if we should have kept him as 1) valuable homegrown player 2) Noble clearly now DEAD. 3) Tom & Dec lucky not to be injured yet.

terry-h 8:34 Fri Jan 8
Re: Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
If he was 'central to their plans',I would have thought he'd have more than 9 appearances in 19 games.
To me he always lacked the physique to succeed in the Premier League.
I'd rather have Soucek in my plans!
Good luck to Josh though.

Vexed 7:53 Fri Jan 8
Re: Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
Good for him. It's a shit fucking league though.

eusebiovic 7:36 Fri Jan 8
Re: Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
Good lad...I'm pleased he's getting a run of first team football with a half decent club

Willtell 7:25 Fri Jan 8
Re: Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
Good for Josh. I’m not surprised that he’s doing well

Leeshere 5:48 Fri Jan 8
Re: Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
Wouldn’t be surprised if this is another Ray Houghton decision by West Ham.

Block 5:36 Fri Jan 8
Re: Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
Top lad, Looks as if Kompany is having a huge impact on him too.

Jasnik 5:33 Fri Jan 8
Re: Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
Still respect him for the cup game where he got his teeth knocked out and carried on playing.

cholo 5:31 Fri Jan 8
Re: Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
Good story. He doesn't sound bitter at all. Would be nice to see him lining up in the champions league against someone.

Lily Hammer 5:29 Fri Jan 8
Re: Nice Story about Josh Cullen's Successful Time at Anderlect
Good for him. I’m glad it’s going well for him. I really wanted it to work out for him with us. Who knows? Maybe one day. In the meantime, I’d cheer for Anderlecht in the Champion’s League, if they get there.....and we don’t.





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