Tony Cottee: Avram Grant will hopefully bring the stability that West Ham need

This season will definitely be an interesting one for West Ham and hopefully we will all get what we have wanted for 10 years – stability,"" says Tony Cottee

THIS season will definitely be an interesting one for West Ham and hopefully we will all get what we have wanted for 10 years - stability.

Not since Harry Redknapp left us have we had that managerial security, a factor which has been fundamental to our success in the previous 105 years.

I am hopeful and optimistic obout Avram Grant taking over and believe he will give us that stability that we really need right now.

It is so important that he finds the right players to fit the right system early, especially as there are a host of new signings in the squad and they may take time to gel.

Their purchase may also cause friction within the camp, with players from last season suddenly finding themselves on the touchline and not playing.

Grant is an experienced manager and I would expect him to have the nous to make sure there is little or no unrest.

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Given the financial situation at the club and within football and I am quite happy with the players he has brought in.

It would have been nice to bring in a big name signing, but you can no longer get a really big name for �10million.

I am quite happy that we did not sign Remy for �12m-�13m because I don't feel that is what we need and to pay that sort of money for someone unproven in the Premier League.

The signing I am most looking forward to see play is young 22-year-old New Zealander Winston Reid.

I was covering the World Cup and had the chance to have a good look at the player and I was very impressed with his three performances in the tournament. I am surprised that West Ham got him for around three or four million and we were the only ones interested.

He can play right back or centre back so his versatility could be vital, while we are desperate for full backs.

I have not seen much of Barrera, while Ben Haim is solid and the free signing of Tomas Hitzlsperger could be quite a coup, as could the purchase of Freddi Piquionne, who impressed me last season when he was playing for Portsmouth.

I am delighted we have managed to hold onto the core of the side. The English quartet of Scott Parker, Robert Green, Matthew Upson and Carlton Cole look to be staying at the club, keeping the spine of the side stable.

I am fed up of seeing our best players move on to other clubs and it something that has happened at West Ham for far too long over the last 20 years or so.

I moved on because I had the opportunity to earn a lot more at Everton, especially as I was young and had had the same contract at West Ham for a few years.

You only have a short career and back then, before the Premier League was around money was important in a player's decision.

But, with the amounts in the top flight nowadays it is more about playing in Europe or winning trophies than the money, so hopefully that will happen this season.


hen the fixtures were first announced and I saw we had Aston Villa first up, I was a little concerned.

But now after it was announced manager Martin O'Neill has left the club, it is looking like it could be a decent game for us and one we can go and win.

I can't see his departure having a positive impact and although I am sure the caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald will do a good job while they look for a replacement, morale will probably be low and the team will be shocked that their boss has left with just five days to go until the season kicks off.

It will be interesting to see the side Grant picks for the Saturday's match. I hope we go up there and have a real good go at them and look to win.

The easy option would be to just play Carlton up top on his own, but it would be great to see him partnered by Piquionne.

IT's great to see that Carlton Cole has been called up for the England squad for the Hungary game.

He has had a great pre-season and can't stop scoring goals at the moment, so I am not particularly surprised by his inclusion.

Injury wrecked his chances of making the World Cup squad last season, while the pressure of leading the line by himself would not have helped his cause.

He never really recovered his form after his knee injury earlier in the campaign and the lack of goals in the second half of the season would not have helped his cause.

This season is a new start for Carlton and it seems Fabio Capello expects results.

I am not surprised by the exclusion of Matthew Upson and Rob Green however.

In my opinion every international manager after a World Cup should look to build for the next tournament in four years time, and by then both players will be well into their 30's.

Both had World Cups to forget and although I feel sorry for both, it was on the cards.

Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner