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Q: 2021/22 What competition should we prioritise this season?
a. The league is our bread & butter, so this year let's have a club sandwich
24%
  
b. We're owed an FA Cup after Gerrard nicked our last one in 06, our name's on it in 22
9%
  
c. A bye to the League Cup 3rd round gives us a good start, let's make it count
5%
  
d. The Europa is our best ticket to the Champions League, this is the one
36%
  
e. What's wrong with you, let's do the lot, has the quadruple ever been done
25%
  



Irish Hammer 1:12 Sat May 29
Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
I always liked him, a good pro and never let us down. Last ever goal scored on that famous night in The Boleyn Ground to get us the 3-2 win 👏🏼


Winston Reid: ‘I appreciate football a lot more now – it would be nice for my kids to see me play after my injuries’


There was an extra spring in Winston Reid’s step once he knew he was weeks away from regaining his status as West Ham United’s best defender. Having endured a lengthy recovery from a gruesome knee injury, light appeared to be at the end of the tunnel. Not until disaster struck once more.

“It wasn’t until I was eight weeks into my rehab when my knee was feeling stiff,” Reid tells The Athletic. “I couldn’t give it the full flexion and we had to go back to a specialist to get their advice on how to deal with it. He advised against us having a second procedure because the rest of my knee was fine. I went away two or three weeks before the summer holiday and continued my rehab, but more so to give it a bit of rest.

“I came back for pre-season and the first week I was working with the physio but after that, I was supposed to start full training with the first team. One day I was walking in the gym with the physio and then my knee just gave way. I wasn’t even doing any exercise. Then they found out there was something else wrong with my knee and it was going to take nine to 12 months to recover.

“That’s when I thought to myself, ‘I just want to play’. It’s not anyone’s fault and that’s how football goes sometimes. Everyone tried their best, it was just a freak accident. I’m not going to lie, I had a few dark moments and I was lucky I had a family to take care of because it helped take my mind off it. I was out for around 18 months and that’s a long time for anyone.”

Winston Reid West Ham
(Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images)
It was in Reid’s last competitive appearance for West Ham, against Swansea City in March 2018, where he was knocked unconscious and, in falling, badly twisted his right knee, tearing the anterior cruciate ligament. Given the severity of the injury, Reid received treatment for eight minutes before departing the field on a stretcher while wearing an oxygen mask.

It is the first time the New Zealand defender, who is on loan at Brentford, has openly discussed the full extent of what he had to endure. At the time, Reid was arguably West Ham’s best player, a previous player of the year and cornerstone of the defence. Yet, in absentia, the 32-year-old has seen the likes of Fabian Balbuena, Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna establish themselves as the main options in David Moyes’ back four.

Injuries are part and parcel of the sport but in an ideal world, Reid would be playing a key role in West Ham’s resurgence. He featured in their long-term plans having signed a six-year deal in March 2015, and then in August 2017 signing a contract that runs until the end of the 2022-23 season. But the events of that 4-1 defeat at Swansea City derailed those plans.

“I remember there was a snowstorm before the game and we were supposed to fly there but we couldn’t,” he says. “We ended up having to take the bus and it took us seven hours. We played the game, we lost and after around 15 minutes I got concussed and while that happened my right leg buckled underneath me.

“Initially I didn’t feel any pain. When I woke up at the hospital they were worrying about my concussion but I noticed my knee wasn’t feeling right. When I got home my knee was swollen.

“I spoke to the physios and when they looked at it they told me my knee was in an awkward position. The following morning when I spoke up, my knee was still swollen. I didn’t know the severity of it until a week later when we took the scan. The inside ligaments were torn, which in the grand scheme of things wasn’t that bad. I was only supposed to be sidelined for two to three months.”

Winston Reid Brentford
Reid is hoping to help Brentford to promotion into the Premier League (Photo: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)
Reid joined West Ham in 2010 from Danish side Midtjylland and had not suffered any serious injuries leading up to the 2017-18 season. The centre-half has since spent time in Denmark and America, working with recovery specialists, and has teamed up with Dominic Rogan, West Ham’s head physio, to improve the strength of the muscles around his right knee.

In July 2019, there were signs that Reid was making good progress when he played in the 3-2 pre-season win at Altach in Austria. But the defender, who is the second-longest serving player behind captain Mark Noble, suffered another setback. There was another comeback that November when he played 64 minutes played for the under-23s in their 3-2 loss against Wolfsburg’s B team.

Although Reid was not available for selection he still attended games at the London Stadium. He could often be seen smiling and socialising with his team-mates in the company of his wife, Yana, and two children, Damien and Aryana.

When the defender went on loan to MLS side Sporting Kansas City in February 2020, he was away from family. It was assurances from fellow New Zealand international and former Blackburn Rovers defender Ryan Nelsen, who helped facilitate the deal, that convinced Reid a sojourn in the US would enable him to prove doubters wrong.

Reid made 12 appearances for Kansas City, 10 of them starts, scored a goal and contributed to two clean sheets while playing a total of 938 minutes. He played an important role in the club reaching the last eight of the post-season MLS play-offs, where they lost 3-0 to Minnesota United. Despite having overcome his injury problems, deep down Reid knew it was a critical juncture in his career.

“I didn’t know how my knee was going to feel,” he says. “The club took care of me and my wife stayed in the UK and I was by myself. COVID-19 happened and it didn’t make it any easier. If I found it tough with my knee then I would’ve just packed it in, to be honest. It was a good place for me to go because there wasn’t any pressure. But if I was training and I couldn’t play games then I was going to stop.

“It would’ve been two years and when I’m 50 I want to be able to walk. But after the loan, I wanted to come back to England to prove myself. My knee was fine and it was about getting back up to tempo.”

The talk turns to some of Reid’s favourite memories at West Ham. Having played more than 200 games for the club, a moment that stands out is the 80th-minute winner he scored in a 3-2 victory over Manchester United in May 2016, which is the last goal at Upton Park. But there is another memory that remains uppermost on his mind.

“The play-off final win in 2011 (against Blackpool) is a special memory because there was a lot of pressure for us to go back up at the first time of asking,” he says. “There were a lot of expectations and we knew as players that if we didn’t go up then the club would probably struggle. We had to go up, simple as that.”

Reid admits the possibility of playing for West Ham again is not something to which he has given much thought. He trained with the team briefly following his loan spell in Kansas. Before joining Brentford on loan for the remainder of the season, Reid and his agent held discussions with Moyes and it is still unknown if he will receive a testimonial.

Noble got one in 2015, while former academy director Tony Carr was rewarded with one in 2010.

“They’ve turned things around. The manager and the (backroom) staff are good people,” says Reid. “Even people behind the scenes like the kit man and the chef. They’ve been there for years, through the good and bad times. They bring everything together and when I was back briefly I noticed there’s good energy.

“I had a good open conversation with David Moyes but they have four centre-halves and I didn’t want to sit around and not play. The possibility of joining Brentford on loan came about. I knew people here and spoke to them a few days before the window closed. I was happy I was able to prove myself again.

“When I signed my last contract, I knew there (would be a possibility of having a testimonial) if I wanted to have one. I played in Mark Noble’s testimonial, which was really good. We’ll see but it’s not something that I’m pushing for.”

Reid is confident Brentford have enough talent to seal promotion to the Premier League. Last season they lost the Championship play-off final against Fulham, but have been able to maintain their form and occupy a play-off berth. Reid, who joined in February, has made 10 appearances and was man of the match in the 2-2 draw against Derby County.

His new team-mate Ivan Toney is a player West Ham have been linked with. He fits the profile of the up-and-coming talent that Moyes is keen to recruit. The 25-year-old is the top scorer in the second tier having scored 28 goals in 37 league appearances, and Reid believes there is one characteristic that will enable Toney to excel at the top level.

“Brentford is a nice environment to be in. We want to win promotion and we have the worth ethic and talent to do it. Ivan is really humble and never complains or moans if he gets fouled. He just gets on it and, more often than not, he’ll put the ball in the back of the net.

“He was at Newcastle and obviously worked his way through the ranks. There’s a lot of people that can learn from him. I’m sure he’ll only keep improving. Some 18-year-olds that I’ve played with were able to get in the first-team straight away but it’s not always that easy. Sometimes you have to go through a different route to make it and Ivan is an example of that. As long as he has the same work ethic, I can’t see why he can’t keep progressing.”

Reid will be almost 35 by the time his existing deal expires at West Ham. In the short term, he is focused on helping Brentford win promotion but plans to discuss his future with Moyes in the summer.

“I appreciate football a lot more now,” he says. “I’m getting older, I’m not 22 and I’m just enjoying playing games, training and helping the group out. It would be nice for my kids to see me play. They haven’t seen me play because they were too young with all the injuries.

“I enjoyed playing in front of the West Ham fans. They always appreciated players that worked hard for the team and it’s something I always tried to do. They were very supportive.

“Right now, I’m focused on Brentford but I’ll have to figure something out. I have a good relationship with David and the club. If I stay or leave it will be done with mutual respect.”

(Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images)

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Sven Roeder 8:09 Mon May 31
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
Second Wembley win, Hammer-ed
You might have been at the other one

Had a fairly easy time coming on at 2-0 against 10 men but looked in good shape physically.
Not sure about the state of his knee but he could do a Dawson style job as no.4 centre back somewhere.

percyd 3:44 Mon May 31
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
Come on home Winston......The Phoenix will have you I'm sure.

⚒️ 3:37 Sun May 30
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
You might be in luck, Swiss.

Scunthorpe are in for him.

Swiss. 3:31 Sun May 30
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
Carried our defence many a time. Like to see him in the Claret and Blue once more.

Hammer-ed 7:04 Sun May 30
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
At least he got a Wembley win under his bet, some players never had that in their career- good luck to him.

charleyfarley 12:53 Sun May 30
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
Cheers Irish and good luck Winston

62Hammer 8:11 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
There were many games Reid played for us when he was almost a one-man defence. After his shaky start (when he was being played at right back) he did a great job for West Ham, and it wasn't his fault he picked up a bad injury that put an end to it. I hope he has more time as a professional footballer, and don't have an opinion on whether he gets a testimonial or not, but I'll always remember him with respect.

ChesterRd 7:16 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
PL player testimonials haven't been about money for the player for years. It's now a game as a tribute to a long serving player with the money going to charity.

I bet 99% of the people slagging him off weren't at Swansea when he had his last injury. Not his fault he got knocked unconscious FFS.

Manuel 1:18 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
He was finished 3 years ago. I suppose the ones on here that thought he might come back are the same dreamers that still think we might get a tune out of Anderson.

He was a good defender, very good on his day, without being a great one, and was a leader. No doubt he will get whatever he can now and then go back to New Zealand and retire on a big ranch somewhere with his millions. At this point I suppose I'm meant to say 'good luck to him'?

southbankbornnbred 1:15 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
Decent article, btw.

Reid always comes across as a good bloke who maximised his talent until the injuries.

southbankbornnbred 1:13 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
He's a good fella, Winston, but we have to find a way of offloading his salary.

It's not his fault that he signed such a generous contract, of course: any player would bite your arm off for it. But he's been injured for three years now, and his salary is a huge problem under FFP.

Couple of points on that. a) If UEFA and the PL etc are going to be serious about FFP (the jury's still out on that) then they need to build in something like the NFL's 'IR' system. Becuase the impact of a multi-year player loss for somebody on a huge contract is greater on 'smaller' and even average-sized clubs.

b) Irrespective, clubs need to get savvy and start building better break claused into large, long-term contracts. Delicate one, this, because good players will always want to sign long-term guarantees. But if all clubs start doing this, perhaps with a PL fund to part-compensate, then the aims of FFP will be better upheld. Otherwise, all it will do is hand even more power to the Shitty Six.

Sven Roeder 11:26 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
Testimonials are traditionally after 10 years at a club so are relatively rare these days.
Bit awkward if you've been injured for 3 years but hope he'd be remembered for the last goal at Upton Park and putting the ball in the pikeys net.

Dandy Lyon 11:20 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
Got half way through and needed to wipe

Nagel 11:20 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
Testimonials are fine as a way of saying a final goodbye to a loyal servant with all the proceeds going to charity like Noble's was (although obviously his came way too early).

In Reid's case I don't think many would even turn up. He's a forgotten man really, only remembered as a long term blight on the wage bill.

Sven Roeder 11:19 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
At the end of the day we are going to have to stump up most of his wages for the next 2 years.
Presumably we will come to some arrangement that involves him moving to a Championship club (Brentford or another) on a free.

Terrible injury and a sad end for New Zealand's greatest ever sportsman.
The only reason you'd have a testimonial is if all the proceeds are going to a club supported charity.

terry-h 11:12 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
I sympathise with his injury problems and hope he doesn't suffer any more.
HOWEVER it might have been advisable not to mention the possibility of a testimonial!
Players nowadays get paid more than enough not to depend on that old fashioned form of financial payment.
Sullivan should have paid him off when it was apparent his future in the PL had come to an end.

13 Brentford Rd 11:01 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
Sums up our luck with injuries to our best players for the last 15 years.
Moyes seems to have exorcised the curse now thankfully.

Steady 10:40 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
Cant believe he still has 2 years left of his contract. I imagine he’s still one of the highest earners too so would be good to let him join Brentford on a free

Dr Matt 10:14 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
Get his wages off the wage bill. Madness giving someone a contract until they’re 35.

Be like offering Antonio a four year contract now.

Nagel 10:12 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
Reid's not played any of Brentford's last 11 games, so I doubt he'll start today.

In those 11 games they've conceded 4 goals. In the 10 games he did play in they conceded 12 goals, so I don't think they've missed him not playing or will be desperate to take him off our hands.

Hermit Road 10:12 Sat May 29
Re: Winston Reid Interview - long enough for a poo
My memory has turned to mush. I forgot he scored the last goal in the 3-2 and I completely forgot how he got injured.

That has to go down as one of the most unfortunate leg injuries of all time. Getting sparked out and falling awkwardly is an unconventional way to fuck up a knee.

Good for him going out in loan instead of just sitting on his arse picking up a wage.

His goal against bermondsey alone makes him a chap in my eyes

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