The summer and early Autumn was quite a humbling experience for Carlton Cole, a striker who a decade ago was being tipped for big things in the game.
Cole was released by the Hammers when his contract expired in the summer, and could not find a Premier League side willing to take him on.
When the transfer window closed and West Ham were looking for a striker, he was linked with a return to East London, but Sam Allardyce decided he was unfit and needed to go away and prove himself.
Finally on October 14, Allardyce relented, judging Cole to be back to approaching satisfactory fitness and able to provide cover in the short-term.
He was signed on a three-month contract, almost begrudgingly, with £15 million man Andy Carroll's injury return date still not set in stone.
After completing an under-21 fixture a week ago, Cole made his first team return at the weekend playing 27 minutes as a substitute in the 0-0 draw away to Swansea City.
Last night was though a big progression. Cole was handed his first start of the 2013/14 season in the League Cup tie away to Burnley.
West Ham won the game 2-0 through late penalties from Matt Taylor and Jack Collison, with Cole completing 60 minutes before being withdrawn for Stewart Downing.
To expect the striker to hit the ground running would have likely been too much to ask given his lack of match practice, and the game from Cole's perspective was about building up his fitness, with the BBC's match report describing the striker as 'rusty'.
With manager Sam Allardyce hoping the striker can shake off a lack of sharpness sooner rather than later.
We decided to take a look at how Hammers fans reacted to his display last night via Twitter to see if he had begun winning any of them over...
Carlton Cole ain't scored a goal in West Ham colours for 663minutes and I'm sure that'll keep adding up.... #Useless— Micky Marsh® (@MickyMarsh69) October 30, 2013
Having to rely on two penalties is embarrassing. Carlton Cole and Maiga couldn't score past a championship team :/— Tim Green (@TimgreenWHU) October 29, 2013
Whatever anyone says, Carlton Cole still did and will continue to do a solid job for us...— Bradley 父 Smith (@BradleyTS22) October 29, 2013
Is it me or didn't Carlton cole look fit to play today? Just didn't seem on his game— 父Adam Loveday父 (@AdamWHU) October 29, 2013
@CarltonCole1 well battled today, the fitness will come. We're through to the quarter finals of the cup, hopefully a kind draw next! #'COYI— 父 Adrian Smith 父 (@adiesmith64) October 29, 2013
2 pens, 2 goals! And to think we were shit in the first half! Thanks Carlton Cole for leaving the field! Now we start to score— SPURS 0-3 WHUFC (@TheBradyator) October 29, 2013
I had a dream last night that Carlton Cole scored a last minute winner, at Wembley, in the Capital One Cup final. #footballdreams— WHUFC (@Forever_WestHam) October 30, 2013
image: © East Ham Bull