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Opinion: Time For a Cull? Why Burke & Cullen Should Be Sent Back to West Ham

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Has he done enough? Not for me, Clive

West Ham United v Juventus - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

In a performance that threw up a whole manner of grievances for Bolton Wanderers fans, one aspect of Bolton's dismantling by Brentford has been especially hard to forgive. The lacklustre and indifferent performances of loanees Josh Cullen and Reece Burke has got me thinking that we should tear up their loan agreements early and send them packing to East London.

Burke's performance peaked in the fourth minute when he arrived first to a 50/50, attacking the right flank and sliding a low cross into the box for Adam Armstrong, although Bees keeper David Bentley smothered the attempt.

After that, Burke seemed intent on beating his marker to the ball at every opportunity, often finishing second best and committing cynical fouls in his own half. One such foul gave Brentford an identical opportunity to their opening goal from Yoann Barbet. I've seen Burke play at centre half, right back and in midfield this season, and bar a solid performance at Birmingham City, he hasn't convinced in any of those positions.

One thing is for sure, he lacks the essential attributes to be a decent centre half. If he cared as much about getting the basics of defending right as he did his side parting, he might have a chance of making it.

His game ended in the 62nd minute, when Phil Parkinson switched from a 5-3-2 to a 4-4-2 formation. In fairness, Burke was the leading candidate to be taken off. Little and Robinson were doing their best to provide width, where Wheater and Beevers simply cared more about turning the game in Wanderers' favour. David Wheater and Mark Beevers are Bolton Wanderers players; Reece Burke however is not.

When the curtain comes down on this season, he won't be here to play his part.

Josh Cullen, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter.

What exactly does he do? Bradford City fans would have us think he was Zinedine Zidane, and West Ham fans are expecting the next Mark Noble to return back to East London in January. Reality will bite Hammers fans hard when they see what Cullen has to offer; nothing. He can't tackle, can't pass, doesn't cover ground, can't shoot: he isn't a defensive midfielder, box-to-box midfielder, attacking midfielder, playmaker, ball-winner or number 10. He isn't even the illusive "luxury player" fans often speak of.

He's diminutive, soft in the tackle, lacking in pace and devoid of the energy required to compete in The Championship.

He and Jem Karacan were run ragged by the midfield three of Yennaris, Woods and Sawyers. At Hull, he limped off when the going got tough. Like Burke, he isn't a Wanderer. He's a West Ham player out on loan to some northern outpost in the second tier, and his performances scream "I don't want to be here".

With the embargo lifted, players like Alex Perry and Jeff King are now able to play their part.

If this ship is going to sink, I'd rather Cullen and Burke would sail off in their claret and blue lifeboat now, and let players who want to wear the white shirt do their bit for the cause.