Tony Cottee: We have a better team than Hull

Hull will be a tough game this Saturday, but if you look at the players on each side man for man, I know who I would rather be managing,"" says Tony Cottee

Hull will be a tough game this Saturday, but if you look at the players on each side man for man, I know who I would rather be managing.

If you look at the players Gianfranco Zola now has at his disposal then you would say there are not many sides in the bottom half who are better then the Hammers.

That said, Hull have some very dangerous players in their side and they are full of confidence after beating Manchester City last week.

Both sides have had a week off when they probably did not want one and it is vital that West Ham pick up at least a point and don't let Saturday's opponents jump above them in the league table.

Like Hull, we will head into the game full of confidence after that excellent victory over Birmingham last Wednesday.

It was a massive win for everybody and there was real pressure on the team to get a result.

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Scott Parker got things going to set up Diamanti for the free kick and from then on, West Ham did not look back in the game.

Scott has been the best player for West Ham this season and although Diamanti can be frustrating at times, shooting from God knows how far out, he does have wonderful ability.

His delivery from set pieces is excellent and if David Beckham had scored the goal he scored last Wednesday we would be sat here talking about how good it was for weeks.

It was great to see Carlton Cole grab a goal after spending a long time out. It was really good to see him back into the mood and his general play was excellent.

Birmingham were a little bit off-colour and did not play anywhere like they have done in the last couple of months, but credit must go to West Ham because they played well.

The game was spiced up beforehand by the owners with their opinions on the wages and their opinions of their former club.

I do think Gold and Sullivan need to balance-out what they say to the press, they are the so-called leaders of the club and they have a position of responsibility.

Terry Brown used to say nothing when he was chairman and that used to frustrate the fans, while the man from Iceland, Eggert Magnusson, was an egomaniac.

The duo have to find the right balance between the two and personally I like to see the talking done on the pitch, it is the job of the manager to wind up the players and the game is about them, not the owners.

They have also mentioned in the press the possibility of the 19 other clubs lending Portsmouth money to help them stave off administration and liquidation.

I don't agree with that and it gives the impression that it does not matter if you don't run the club properly because others will help bail you out.

I have nothing against Portsmouth and there are a lot of nice people at the club and loyal fans. It is a desperate situation for them to be in, but if the succession of owners ran the club properly they would not be in this predicament.

They paid too much in wages to players and if need be they should take the 10-point penalty, go into administration and re-structure.

They will probably go down to the Championship, but even without the nine-point penalty the likelihood is that they will be playing there anyway next season.

I saw Coventry play QPR on Saturday and Freddie Sears came on for the last 25 minutes for the Sky Blues.

He played with Freddie Eastwood and did reasonably well.

It is a good move for him and there is no point him sitting in the stands at West Ham when he can be playing.

It is a tough league, with a lot of big boys and it is a good opportunity for him to get playing time and learn the game and hopefully in the future he will start more games and start scoring goals.

I would be keen for the club to play in the Olympic Stadium after the games as long as there is no running track and West Ham United does not change into West Ham Olympic.

It would be great if we could move into an 80,000-seater stadium, but there is no infrastructure for football, there are no corporate facilities and the club really should have been consulted in the design stages of the project.

The stadium must be used or it could fall the way of the Dome and become a white elephant. A lot of money has been spent on the stadium and it is vital it is put to good use after the games.

It has to be West Ham that move into the stadium and I know Orient chairman Barry Hearn has said he will fight it out with us for the stadium I can't see them being given the nod over West Ham.

I have great sympathy with Barry and I like Orient, and it is important that they have a safe future, but we have to do what is best for us.

We might be able to ground share and either way I don't believe it will mean the death for Leyton Orient.

The move would help the club no end, as we would make a lot of money from selling Upton Park and that coupled with the size of the Olympic Stadium and the attendances we could have, will help the club move up a level.

There is talk of on the BBC of future champions League qualification being decided by way of a play-off.

It would mean that a team which finishes as low as seventh could qualify and maybe in a year or two, West Ham will be at that stage and playing that level of football.

To do so in the Olympic Stadium would certainly be a great thing for the club.


Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner