Hislop Quitting the Hammers

Last updated : 24 January 2002 By Mike Reich
Shaka: Off to Pastures New
Shaka Hislop has decided to call it quits at Upton Park, after spending much of the season in the reserves and on the bench.

Following the £3.5m capture of David James from Aston Villa in the summer, Shaka was seemingly going to spend the whole season out of the first team line up. However, after James' injury playing for England, Shaka spent the first few months of the season in goal for the Hammers.

He had a great chance to show what he was made of. However, in the 13 games that Shaka was in the goal mouth, he conceded a massive 25 goals. How could anyone expect to remain first choice keeper with appalling goalkeeping such as that? Some may say it's down to the defence, but surely the goalie is subject to a portion of the blame?

Since James came into the team, in 12 games, we have conceded 14. If it weren't for Saturday's poor show, it would be 9 in 11. There is a canyon of difference in class between the two players, and the defence has tightened up a lot more under the control of the English keeper.

32 year-old Hislop, who was signed by Harry Redknapp on a free transfer from Newcastle in 1998, told The Sun that he was going to look elsewhere in the Summer:

"I still feel I'm worth more than reserve-team football. And I'm leaving because it's the only way I can get my career back on track.

"I'm not prepared to sit around and do nothing, which is why I rejected a new deal in the first place."

He was once described as Harry Redknapp as the best free transfer ever. It certainly was a good signing with the limited budget that Harry used to play with. However, now we have James, we have a keeper who can play at even higher levels, whilst it seems that Shaka had reached his playing peak with West Ham.