Tony Cottee Column: Olympic Stadium move is needed if West Ham want to become a bigger club

“A football stadium with a running track just doesn’t work as there isn’t any atmosphere.”

From the very beginning I have been behind a move away from Upton Park, for one simple reason.

I feel that if West Ham is to become a bigger club and fulfil its potential then we must move to a larger, better stadium with improved transport links and infrastructure. The Olympic Stadium ticks all of those boxes.

However, what I am not a fan of is running tracks in football stadiums for two main reasons.

The first is that I feel a track takes away some of the intimate feel of a football stadium, and the second is that supporters are then too far away from the action.


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This has been the sticking point about the Olympic Stadium for me, and I think that it is a bit shambolic, the way it was awarded to West Ham and now taken away.

I am sure that there will be more developments in this story in the coming weeks and I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of it.

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I am positive that West Ham will continue to fight to keep the right to play in the stadium, but from the word go it has been up in the air, really.

With the transport links that Stratford now has, and the infrastructure in the area, it makes perfect sense for the club to move.

The news that David Bentley has picked up a knee injury while training at the club is a big blow to the Hammers.

Bentley is a class player and it looks like he will be out for a few months, which is a real shame.

The Championship is a tough and demanding league and we need to have all of our best players fit.

We are coming up to an important time of the season when we begin to frequently play three games every week.

Cristian Montano has been recalled from his loan at Notts County and it will be interesting to see how much the midfielder has benefitted from his time at Meadow Lane.

He was playing regularly under Martin Allen and scoring goals too and he is a promising talent.

I am not sure if he will go into the first team straight away, but if Sam Allardyce feels it is the right time to include him then I won’t argue.

With speculation linking Carlos Tevez with a loan move back to West Ham, I think I speak for all Hammers fans when I say we would love to have him back at the club.

He was adored during his time here, but if he is as unsettled in England as he would have us believe, then I can’t see him moving to another club in this country.

Obviously with the financial state that the club is in, we also wouldn’t be able to afford his wages, but with West Ham you never know what is just around the corner and anything is possible.

This weekend we welcome Blackpool to Upton Park, and they are another Championship team that has surprised me.

They have quietly climbed the table in recent weeks and are now seventh.

Out of the three teams that were relegated from the Premier League, I thought that both Blackpool and Birmingham would struggle, but the Seasiders kept most of their squad together and added some experienced players.

Teams often come to Upton Park and play very defensively, but I don’t think that will be the case when Blackpool visit east London.

It is important that West Ham improve their home form immediately, and Saturday gives them a chance to do that.

I think that we would all take a boring 1-0 win before kick off.

Three home points is all that is important.

Tony Cottee was talking to Nathaniel John

Join our interactive coverage of West Ham v Blackpool this Saturday from 2.30pm at www.london24.com/west-ham

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