Tony Cottee: “West Ham have run out of excuses”

Changes must be made before it is too late

IT IS time for excuses to stop and for West Ham to start winning football matches.

I like to be positive but it has got to the stage now where I can’t be because the fans reading this will think I am being stupid and you cannot defend the indefensible.

Something drastic has to be done and changes have to be made, otherwise we will be relegated, it is as simple as that.

There are clearly problems internally and there have been a lot of rumors about players unhappiness at the club.


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The owners are doing the right thing in being pro-active, trying to make changes and if the rumors about bringing Wally Downes into the club are true I believe that is a positive move.

He would help with team spirit no end and liven up the training ground, which at this time is desperately needed. Players need to play football with a smile on their face and I don’t see it happening at West Ham right now.

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There is also talk of bringing in Paolo Di Canio as attacking coach, which I believe would almost certainly undermine Avram Grant.

Paolo is so loved by the fans and the focus will be on him rather then the manager.

A lot of fingers have been pointed at Zeljko Petrovic. Pre-season went well and everybody seemed pleased, but that seemed to change after his appointment.

You cannot blame him for everything, because he isn’t out there on the pitch, but players do need camaraderie, especially when the team is losing.

It doesn’t matter how much footballers earn, they are still humans who feel pain and there doesn’t seem to be anyone at the club who is there to pick the players up.

You could blame for the manager Avram Grant for the lack of morale and I have publically said all along that I didn’t think he was the right choice. Saturday’s performance against Liverpool told me the players weren’t happy with the direction the club is headed.

It was an awful, horrendous showing and I am shocked by how bad it was.

I thought it would be a great time to play them, with Steven Gerrard out injured and Liverpool coming off the back of a few dodgy results I had hoped we would get a point.

I find it very odd that Grant decided to play 4-3-3, especially against a side containing Glenn Johnson a right back who loves to get forward.

Both West Ham wingers are natural forwards so the last thing you want to have to do is rely on them getting back and helping out the defence. It left Carlton Cole so isolated.

It’s got to the stage where I don’t care about the game as long as we win. The bottom line is that we all want to see West Ham playing in the Premier League.

We are bottom of the table and we can’t go out in every match thinking we are Arsenal because we are not.

Its about finding a style and a system which suits this team and it is something which must be sorted out immediately or the club will continue to encounter huge problems.

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