Certainly it is one of the most painful things to witness on the football pitch. When a marauding athlete is cut down whilst abounding on the opposition goal; clutching at the back of a respective leg and falling to the ground in crumpling agony the reaction is always the same. The whole crowd erupts into a harmonic wince from 20 odd thousand people and everyone knows what has happened; a torn hamstring.
The worst I can remember was a younger version of Michael Owen pulling up lame against Leeds United in 1999. Mohamed Diame’s similar injury against Liverpool this weekend bared several similarities. Since Owen did his hamstring medical facilities have improved incredibly and while in 1999 Diame’s season would be over the predicted return for the Senegalese midfielder has been pencilled in; for January, which considering the severity of the problem is not the worst news.
There may also be an extremely small, tiny little silver lining in the projected date of his return. In terms of him potentially staying West Ham United it could not be better.
Signed on a free transfer in the summer Diame is certainly up there with Michu and Claudio Yacob as one of the bargains of the season. His dynamic displays from the heart of the midfield have been a revelation at Upton Park this season and his game-changing performance against Chelsea last weekend was simply sensational.
Lambasted toward the end of his Wigan career not many would have predicted his name being linked with a transfer to the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool yet barely six months later here we are. Sam Allardyce himself admitted the other day that the midfielder has a release clause in his contract, and while he rightly did not disclose details of his players employment he admitted it would be impossible to keep him in the event of a correct bid:
‘’There is always a situation where you are powerless to keep a player. Because of the size of the fee, you can't turn it down and the chairman says: 'We can't say no, we've got to move him on' but I won't be disclosing a player’s contract."
While he will obviously be a big loss for the rest of the campaign The Hammers appear to have consolidated themselves in the league this season on their return to the top flight. With Diame out until mid-January a transfer would be a risk for buying clubs.
Providing he stays West Ham can prosper once again from his superb athleticism in the centre of the park, but his injury might just be enough to stop the talk over a transfer building and continuing to spiral out of the Hammers control.
As a neutral personally I want to wish Diame all the best in his recovery. He has been a breath of fresh air in the current campaign and I am sure I am not alone in wanting to see him driving forward from midfield sooner rather the later.
Can you see the positives from an obviously bad situation?
images: © Ben Sutherland