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Ashton Returns to Ailing West Ham

Some light was shed on a bleak situation earlier this week as striker Dean Ashton, considered one of the best young talents in England today, looks set to resume training with West Ham next week. Indeed, Ashton's broken leg, which he suffered while training with England in September, is near the top of West Ham's lengthy list of miseries this season, especially since the player cost the club nearly $12 million last summer. Hopefully, for Manager Alan Curbishley, the return of the young striker will help boost West Ham's awful record of 18 goals in 27 games.

"I've not really had enough time to impose myself on the squad because the team's changed every week," Curbishley said. "I found myself picking the team Friday mornings because of injuries and the lack of form." Relegation to the League Championship would cost West Ham an estimated $31 million in TV revenue.

It hasn't been much fun being West Ham boss this season between the mysterious arrival of a pair of underachieving Argentine stars, a mid-season change in ownership, a plague of lackluster performances, and inevitably, some bad luck. With the season nearing the three-quarter mark, West Ham finds itself winless in nine games and six points deep in the drop zone with 11 games to play.

Read the whole story at Times Online »

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