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West Ham players out for a drink?! We used to do it after every game!

PUBLISHED: 11:30 05 October 2016

West Ham legend Tony Cottee

West Ham legend Tony Cottee

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Our West Ham columnist Tony Cottee says nights out are good for team spirit

West Ham United's Dimitri Payet scores his sides first goalWest Ham United's Dimitri Payet scores his sides first goal

We heard a lot of criticism about the players going out on the town for a drink last week in a team-bonding session and all I would say is – it never did us any harm!

I know it was a different age in football, but we would go out after every game and have a drink and often in midweek too.

We were predominantly a British squad and in the 1980s and 90s that was simply the culture.

Bobby Moore is well known for going out for a few drinks, but he was always the first out on the training ground the next day and it is that sort of dedication and commitement that is so important.

West Ham United's Pedro Obiang (left) and Middlesbrough's Viktor Fischer battle for the ball during the Premier League match at London Stadium.West Ham United's Pedro Obiang (left) and Middlesbrough's Viktor Fischer battle for the ball during the Premier League match at London Stadium.

It was the secret of a good team spirit and though you can’t go crazy, it’s something that is good for a team.

We saw the first signs of a revival on Saturday against Middlesbrough and though it wasn’t a win, we looked a lot more solid at the back and that is a step in the right direction.

I think the inclusion of Pedro Obiang gave the defence the extra protection that it needed. It is all very well having a host of attacking players, but if that means that the defence is left wide open then you have to do something about it and get the right balance.

Of course we saw something quite spectacular at the London Stadium on Saturday.

West Ham United's Winston Reid (left) and Middlesbrough's Jordan Rhodes in action during the Premier League match at London Stadium.West Ham United's Winston Reid (left) and Middlesbrough's Jordan Rhodes in action during the Premier League match at London Stadium.

Dimitri Payet’s goal was absolutely outstanding. The move started from nothing, but in the end he had beaten five defenders and slotted it into the net.

We all remember the great goals at Upton Park. The volley by Di Canio, the great strike by Keith Robson, but now we are at a new stadium, we need a whole new set of memories to treasure.

We all know what Payet can do with a set-piece, he is brilliant, but this was different, this was from open play and was an incredible piece of skill.

I think perhaps this is the first great memory from the London Stadium and hopefully the first of many more to come in the future at our new home.

We are still in the bottom three, but I have to say I am not worried.

We have another international break and that means two extra weeks to get some of our injured players back.

I want Aaron Cresswell back for the Palace game and I don’t think Andy Carroll will be too far behind him.

We have got a good squad at West Ham and once everything settles down, I see no reason why we can’t climb up the table. COYI!

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