Tony Cottee: Gold and Sullivan have picked up a bargain
PUBLISHED: 12:03 21 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:30 05 October 2010
This takeover has been a long time coming and I believe right now is the best time for anyone to buy the club,"" says Tony Cottee
This takeover has been a long time coming and I believe right now is the best time for anyone to buy the club.
Yes the club are in a lot of debt, but if David Gold and Sullivan do what I think they will do and make the club financially sound in three of four years time, West Ham would be worth a hell of a lot more.
There is a lot of debate whether it is important that those who are taking charge are football people and if they support the club.
I do think it is important and right now especially for West Ham that matters.
For the last two months I have been looking for potential investors, because I care about the club.
The BBC reported that I was advisor to the Intermarket group and sure I did talk to them, but I also spoke to David Gold and representatives of Tony Fernandes.
I was impressed with what David Gold had to say and I know David Sullivan because his children attend the same school as mine and I am sure they will both do a really good job at West Ham.
They did well at Birmingham and bought the club for a pound before selling it for a huge profit, so not only are they football people, but excellent with finances.
It will be a tougher task though, because having played for both West Ham and Birmingham, I feel West Ham is a bigger club, with bigger expectations and more passionate supporters.
The last thing I personally wanted was to see the Italian Massimo Cellino take over, he had a shady past and he is the last person we needed at the club.
I did not want him in charge and out of the four front-runners he is the one that the club could have done without.
He was also the only one of the four that was not a Hammers fan
He was keen to get rid of Gianfranco Zola as manager from what I hear and I know that is supposedly the case with Gold and Sullivan, but it seems like they are willing to give Zola a chance.
If they were to ask my advice I would tell them to stick with Zola because he has done a pretty good job in difficult circumstances and it is probably the wrong time for a change of manager anyway.
There is finally stability in the boardroom and right now I feel we need that in the management department as well.
Since Harry Redknapp left as manager nine years ago the club have not had the best of times and we have had instability.
Before that, the club had only gone through something like seven managers in our entire history and we need strong leadership right now.
The team now have a fair bit of time before we play Portsmouth next Tuesday and it gives the new owners time to bring in players to the club.
If everyone is fit and healthy I believe the current squad would be strong enough to finish in mid-table, but we have had a lot of injuries and we need more numbers.
I feel we need three or four squad players, in case we have more injury trouble and I feel it is imperative a striker is brought to the club.
There is a lot of pressure on Carlton Cole and Guillermo Franco is huge and if they get injured then that pressure transfers on to 18-year-old Frank Nouble.
You could get yourself in a situation where you ask any of those three to play when they are not 100 per cent fit and that could cause further damage.
I also feel we need a right back. Julien Faubert has played well there this season but again I feel cover is needed there, it is important we don't panic.
There is only two or three weeks left and the later in the window, usually the higher the price to be paid, so we must be careful and I have faith that those doing the dealings will be just that.
It was a really good result against Aston Villa and we were well worth a point.
A second clean sheet of the season will give a real lift to the back four.
A lot of fans went into the game thinking that we would lose the game and I must admit if you offered me a draw beforehand I would have taken it.
It was a good all-round performance at the back but I was really impressed with what I saw from the two centre halves who rarely looked troubled and dealt with most of what was asked of them.
Aston Villa forced so many corners, but in truth they never looked like scoring from a set-piece.
After the substitutions to bring on Junior Stanislas and Alessandro Diamanti I thought we were going to score and I felt the addition of the duo made us look a lot more dangerous going forward.
Diamanti is really having a positive effect coming off the bench, he has a good left foot and he brings a spark to the team.
After seeing the line-up I was concerned that we were not going to get close to scoring, but we played well and after a poor debut against Arsenal, Frank Nouble played really well on Sunday.
Against experienced centre halves and without much support, I thought he led the line well and held the ball up impressively to bring others into play and he looks like he will be a bright prospect.
Our passing was crisp and accurate for most of the game and we kept possession well. At times in the past we have tried to overcomplicate things at times, but we have some good passers in the team and a lot of them showed up against Villa.
Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner
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