Speaking to the official West Ham website, Joey O’Brien has discussed his injury, and has admitted that he is now just waiting to get his chance in Slaven Bilic’s first-team after returning to full fitness.
He said: “This injury kind of came at a terrible time for me really, personally. I was hoping to start the season, and then I picked up an injury in the last European game which kind of hung around a bit. By the time it was all sorted it was four or five weeks into the season. Now I’m waiting for my chance, I’m confident my opportunity will come at some point sooner or later.”
O’Brien started the season as a back-up player, but he was given a run in the starting XI as West Ham took part in the Europa League qualifying rounds.
He started five games in a row, but was injured in the last game, and has since then been sat on the sidelines.
His only appearance in a Premier League match this term has come as an unused substitute against Watford, and the 29-year-old right-back has become something of a forgotten man at the Boleyn Ground.
Carl Jenkinson has continued his fine form, meaning that O’Brien dropped from fans thinking, and even James Tomkins has shown his versatility to be used as a right-back at a Premier League level when he has been needed.
O’Brien is now recovered from injury, although he is still short of match fitness due to his lack of action, and after the Watford game the full-back was once again dropped from the matchday squad against Everton last weekend.
Considering how well the team have been playing, O’Brien’s injury came at the worst time for him on a personal level. He was behind his teammates in terms of fitness, and now that the season is in full swing, O’Brien will struggle for game time.
Bilic would be foolish to break up his team who are playing so well, and O’Brien may continue as the forgotten man until either injury or loss of form to Jenkinson allow the 29-year-old to get a chance in the first-team.