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Tony Cottee: The most important thing is that we got the three points

PUBLISHED: 11:19 03 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:20 05 October 2010

West Ham's English player Junior Stanislas (R) celebrates scoring the 2nd goal with team-mate Herita Ilunga during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Burnley at the Boleyn Ground, Upton Park in East London, England, on November 28th, 2009. AFP PHOTO/Olly Greenwood  FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY Additional license required for any commercial/promotional use or use on TV or internet (except identical online version of newspaper) of Premier League/Football photos. Tel DataCo +44 207 2981656. Do not alter/modify photo. (Photo credit should read Olly Greenwood/AFP/Getty Images)

West Ham's English player Junior Stanislas (R) celebrates scoring the 2nd goal with team-mate Herita Ilunga during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Burnley at the Boleyn Ground, Upton Park in East London, England, on November 28th, 2009. AFP PHOTO/Olly Greenwood FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY Additional license required for any commercial/promotional use or use on TV or internet (except identical online version of newspaper) of Premier League/Football photos. Tel DataCo +44 207 2981656. Do not alter/modify photo. (Photo credit should read Olly Greenwood/AFP/Getty Images)

2009 AFP

There were obviously plenty of positives and negatives to come out of Saturday s win over Burnley, but the most important thing is that we got the three points which is fantastic,"" says Tony Cottee

There were obviously plenty of positives and negatives to come out of Saturday's win over Burnley, but the most important thing is that we got the three points which is fantastic.

I said a couple of weeks back that we needed four points from the games against Burnley and Hull and we have done that and if we had not picked up the win at the weekend then we would have been in crisis.

Scott Parker was again excellent in midfield, ran the show for us in the middle of the park and was rightly named man of the match, while Franco put in another really good showing.

He is not the quickest, but he so experienced and for a man of his height he is really good in the air and was quite a handful for the Burnley back-line.

Our own defence is becoming a bit of a concern at the minute, I have to admit.

To concede three goals at Upton Park against a Burnley side who are awful away from home is a big concern and one which I'm sure manager Gianfranco Zola will be keen to address.

We have to shore things up at the back and the goals we let in were again sloppy.

What Saturday also proved is that we just cannot play against 10 men.

I remember joking with someone at the time that when we were 5-0 up, that even West Ham could not blow this lead, but we nearly did.

The only thing I can put it down to is that the players must have just switched off. When you are in a position where the game is seemingly won you can lose focus and players stopped doing their jobs and I know that from my own experience.

I remember in 1987 we played Barnsley at Upton Park, who at the time were playing in the third tier of English football and went 2-0 up.

We switched off and managed to lose 5-2 and were rightfully booed off the park, in what was a terrible night for us.

What is worse than the defending on Saturday is the news that Carlton Cole could be out of action for a while.

He, Rob Green, Scott Parker and Matt Upson are the spine of the team and out of those only probably Green is more important to the team.

I hope it is not as bad as it seems although knee ligament problems are never straight-forward.

He certainly won't be fit enough Manchester United this weekend and if we manage to get a point off the champions that would be a fantastic result.

West Ham always seem to raise their game when they take on the likes of Chelsea and United, especially at Upton Park and I have to admit I cannot wait for the game.

We will have to be on top form for it, if not then we can expect a tonking, but I have great belief it won't happen.

I don't think they are as strong as they were last season after losing Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo and I actually think Chelsea are the team to beat this year.

It was great to hear the news that the club have submitted planning permission to build a new training ground in Rush Green, Romford.

I think a new training ground is vital to the club, because although the training ground at Chadwell Heath has produced some superb players down there over the years, the place sadly looks a bit tired and dated.

If you bring a potential new signing to the training ground, whether it be a seasoned pro or a youngster deciding what club is right for him you show them Chadwell Heath.

They then go to look at say Arsenal or Chelsea's facilities then they could be persuaded by that alone not to join the Hammers.

I want to see the club progress and a new training ground will help us do that.

It will give the club a great new gym, good training pitches that the reserves can use to play their matches on and will also put us in good stead in that community.

It is a big undertaking, but it is key to impressing players and it is great that the club are looking to the future.

Agents definitely have a role to play within the game, but the money they are earning now is absolutely ridiculous.

The amount clubs pay them was released this week and I was staggered when I saw how much the clubs spent.

We were one of the highest spenders and to see over £5m leave the club and go to agents is a concern.

What frustrates me the most is that it is money leaving the game, but sadly that is the way the world works these days and you have to play the game.

If the going rate for an agent is hundreds of thousands of pounds, you have to pay it, or the agent will take their player elsewhere.

I saw one agent received around £900,000 for just one transfer, which to me is ludicrous.

I understand they need to pay for plane travel and other expenses, but to pay the sort of money currently paid out is disproportionate to the work they do.

Agents I know are really important for young players starting out in the game, because they have the experience to help them do what is right for the player.

Could you imagine a young kid sat in front of Alex Ferguson or Harry Redknapp trying to thrash out a deal.

The poor lad would be in such awe of the men in front of them, they would sign whatever was offered.

I know players have used the PFA to sort out their contracts.

They do a great job within the game, especially when it comes to helping players with injuries and you know if they sort out your contract the money that you pay them, goes back into the game, which can only be a good thing.

Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner


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