James Collins stars again after signing new West Ham deal

Aston Villa 1 West Ham 1: Manager Slaven Bilic hailed James Collins after the defender celebrated a new deal to help earn West Ham a point at Aston Villa.

James Collins stars again after signing new West Ham deal

The centre-back signed a new two-and-a-half year contract on Thursday and was his side’s outstanding player at Villa Park.

Collins cleared Alan Hutton’s header off the line in the second half as the Hammers hung on for a point — their fifth straight Premier League draw.

Aaron Cresswell had fired them ahead only for Jordan Ayew’s penalty to level, but Bilic believes Collins, who re-joined West Ham from Villa in 2012, showed why he deserved a new deal.

He said: “He was again outstanding. He is in good form. It’s not just today, it’s ever since I came here. At the beginning he didn’t play a lot, but every time he’s played he is not only reliable, he has been magnificent. It’s great to have him. We decided to offer him a new contract way before and he deserves it.

“He’s a good player and I watch him in training every day and he’s good on the ball. It’s not just kicking the ball around. His presence is a very dominant one.

“I wouldn’t call those players old-fashioned, he’s just a really good centre-half.”

Rock-bottom Villa are now nine points behind fellow strugglers Norwich and go to Carrow Road today.

They remain winless in the league since the opening day of the season — a club record run of 17 games — and boss Remi Garde admitted this result represented two points dropped.

He said: “When you look at the game I think we deserved more points, but West Ham defended very well. We knew that because they’d had three clean sheets in a row.

“The feeling is frustration more than anything else, because when you play like we played we gave 100% and deserved more than that.

“If you add the last 45 minutes at Newcastle it’s now a long time we’ve played good football without being rewarded with goals. It’s a little bit frustrating, but the way we put them under pressure was a very nice feeling. I’m disappointed for the players.”


Guzan, Hutton, Okore, Lescott, Bacuna, Westwood, Sanchez (Gil 38), Gana, Veretout (Traore 83), Gestede, Ayew.


Adrian, Tomkins (Jenkinson 46), Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell (Song 75), Obiang, Kouyate, Antonio, Noble, Zarate (Oxford 85), Valencia.


Mike Dean (Wirral).

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