West Ham striker Carlton Cole made a rare start in the Hammers’ last home game of the season against Everton on Saturday – and it could potentially be his last in a claret and blue shirt.
The 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Toffees saw the east Londoners drop out of the top 10 in the league and they could still finish lower if they fail to beat Newcastle United at St James Park at the weekend.
Cole was left isolated as the lone striker and was unhappy to be substituted which threw his future further into doubt.
The 31-year-old said: “I wanted to play longer today didn’t get that opportunity but that is the manager’s prerogative, he did what he felt was right at the time. I have been through this emotion before, so I don’t know what to think. When I think I am going I am still here. I am just taking it as it comes; you just never know what is going to happen.
“I haven’t spoken to the manager. He has to sort out his own future first. Whether I am here, whether I am anywhere else I always give 100%.”
Cole almost left for West Brom in January but injuries to the likes of Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia collapsed the deal – much to the anger and frustration of the former England international.
Despite his lack of appearances, Cole is still a fans’ favourite.
“The fans have been brilliant with me all year,” said Cole. “They know my heart is in it and I can’t ask for much more from them. I am just really disappointed with the score, because even when I got subbed and they scored, I just knew that Lukaku was going to get an opportunity and that is what happened.
“I just wanted to have more of an input. I thought I could have carried on and still been a presence up front which we looked like we needed anyway. It wasn’t meant to be and I am very disappointed.”
With the striker limited to 22 games this season, most of them as an impact substitute, and a summer overhaul expected, Cole’s days at the Boleyn Ground appear to be numbered.