Tony Cottee Column: I’ll be surprised if Green, Parker and Cole stay at West Ham
Hammers legend believes promotion is achievable for the east Londoners this season
Following the debacle of last season and the subsequent relegation, the club desperately needed to be taken in another direction, by a new, strong British manager.
And Sam Allardyce is a great choice. He understands players, and we needed someone like him to come into the club, and he has made a great first impression.
Being the manager at West Ham provides a great opportunity for Allardyce and I am sure that he is relishing it.
There is this long-ball misconception that surrounds him, but people forget that he got Bolton into Europe and the top 10 of the Premier League with very limited resources. He had 10 very successful years there and he is by no means one-dimensional.
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The West Ham way is not to get relegated in the first place and I am fully behind Allardyce and the early signs are good.
He has brought in players that he is familiar with, and the signing of the summer so far has to be Kevin Nolan.
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I spoke with Nolan a couple of weeks ago at the training ground and he is a great player and he admitted that he didn’t join West Ham to be playing Championship football.
He scored 12 goals from midfield in the Premier League last season and he will be a key player for the Hammers, alongside another new boy Matt Taylor.
I have always been a fan of Taylor and think he will bring some structure to the side as well as a lethal left boot.
Joey O’Brien and Abdoulaye Faye are another two, solid signings that will improve the team.
Hopefully we will see at least two of our England internationals stay at the club, and it would be fantastic if we could keep Robert Green, Scott Parker and Carlton Cole.
Although, I would be very surprised if all three players were still at the club at the end of August.
The summer transfer window just doesn’t make sense to me.
I think that it should close before the start of the season, as managers end up planning with some players, who can play the first couple of games for one club, before finding themselves transferring to another.
However, we have to wait and see what happens, as this will be an important season for the club.
When you are in the Championship, it is not about winning the league, it is about securing promotion and it doesn’t matter how it is done.
Personally, I would like to see West Ham go up via the play-offs again as it provides a great day out for the fans and the final would be played at Wembley.
But that is a long-way off from now.
In terms of West Ham’s main rivals, I would say that the club to beat has to be another one of my old teams, Leicester City.
They have spent big this summer and along with the Hammers, are one of the best teams in the league.
However, we have seen year after year that the best teams aren’t always the ones that end up getting promoted and the Championship is a tough league.
First up for West Ham is a visit of Cardiff City, and it is a hard start for the Hammers.
Cardiff have consistently finished at the top-end of the Championship table and under their new manager Malky Mackay will be a hard side to beat.
I will be at the game, and it will be a tough start to life in the Championship for the Hammers, but I think that we can start the season with a win.