Tony Cottee’s column: Either play Ravel or sell him

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Tony CotteeTony Cottee is back with his EXCLUSIVE Forever West Ham column. Read about Tony’s thoughts on Ravel Morrison, his career regrets and much, much more.

Capital One Cup 

I went to the first-leg, not as a pundit or an ex-pro, but as a fan. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was at the performance – or the lack of it!

There was a no passion, which I just cannot accept. I’ve played in a fair few West Ham teams and you could never accuse us of not trying.

I’m not saying it is the right way, but someone like Bonzo or Dicksy or Stewart would’ve lost their temper, made a reckless challenge and received a yellow card, to show they’re fighting for the cause. The fans deserved more.

The second-leg was a dead rubber. I was a Sky Sports pundit for the night and it was an eerie experience being in a half empty Upton Park – I still feel that the board should’ve done more to slash ticket prices and get the numbers through the gates.

What’s done is done but I can’t help but think we’ve missed an opportunity of a great day out at Wembley. I’m sure we all remember the day against Blackpool and the club and fans deserve a lot more of those moments.

Who is to blame?

I’m sure, like me, you didn’t expect West Ham to be in the situation they currently find themselves in.

Tensions are high and the fans, quite rightly, want answers; for me, it is a ‘full house’ with everyone open to criticism.

It goes right back to last summer’s transfer window policy (a policy that doesn’t seem to be improving this window). The board has to take the flak for West Ham’s shortcomings in the transfer market, as they’re the ones doing the deals.

Obviously, as manager, Sam Allardyce is open to a lot of criticism, as it is his players, his formation and his managerial techniques that aren’t delivering the desired results.

Ultimately though, the players are the ones who can make a real difference. They continually choose to turn in passionless and below par performances.

Overall, I’m confident we will avoid relegation from the Premier League. There are 11 teams in the relegation dogfight and, on paper, I’m certain we have more than enough talent in the squad to finish at least fourth from bottom. 

Ravel Morrison

Find a position for him or sell him, it is that simple.

The problem is, Morrison’s best position is probably as a ‘No.10’ but Sam prefers club captain Kevin Nolan.

Ravel does appear to be unsettled and if we aren’t going to utilise his qualities properly, then we may as well get the money in and use that towards bringing in other targets.

Transfer Window

It’s not looking good and things are starting to get desperate.

We all thought we were going to sign Lacina Traore but Everton made an eleventh-hour bid to take him to Goodison Park.

Traore’s decision is no reflection on West Ham; as everyone knows it is a great club. Everton can just offer the lad more exciting possibilities and, if I take my West Ham hat off, I’d always choose a Champions League push over a relegation battle.

There are several areas of the team that need addressing but that needs to be done in the summer. Right now, we are desperate for a goal scoring centre forward and another centre-back.

Sadly, I think we will probably end up on transfer deadline day, bringing in two or three players that won’t improve our starting XI.


I saw Alou Diarra’s comments about moving to West Ham being a mistake for his career.

I don’t really want to get too focused on Diarra’s comments – I’m sure you can have an educated guess at my opinion on the matter!

However, it did get me thinking, do I have any regrets?

It is easy to look back, after you’ve retired, and say: “I wish I hadn’t done that.”

With hindsight, I would’ve loved to have stayed at West Ham my whole career, I probably wouldn’t have gone to Malaysia and I definitely wouldn’t have signed for Millwall.

Each decision I made, though was right for me at the time. I made the decisions in good faith and I considered what was best for me financially and what was best for my family.

Regrets? None. Things I would’ve done differently? Most definitely.

Tony Cottee was talking to Forever West Ham’s Editor

Tony’s book ‘West Ham: The Inside Story’ is out NOW and you can order a SIGNED copy from

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to,

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  • peter says:

    l agree about Morrison, he is better a Sir Trev type of player. Tues proved that, spraying the ball and doing his jinking runs. Where was Nolan, that is easy he was being shown a footballing lesson that he (Nolan) will never forget. I said that Nolan would walk straight back into the team, and he did. Didn’t deserve to either. he should be sold along with Maiga and some others so we can buy McCormack of Leeds!!!!!

  • Bobby Gould says:

    Adrian demel Tompkins Reid rat noble Diame downing Morrison Jarvis Carroll please Sam just print this out and read it to the team then follow up with Nolan your a fucking useless cunt you won’t ever play for west ham again!!!!

  • beckton Geoff says:

    Apparently right Mr cottee , but i know for a fact that Morrison doesn’t want to be at the grate WHU because of BFS it’s to late now let him go, and Nolan doesn’t deserve to walk straight back in to the team, and as for Gandalf and the hobbit just bad Management pure and simple.

  • Becki says:

    I fear the worse with news of the 4 desperate signings due to arrive, how ever good they are it will take time to gel into a team, if Fat Sam is prepared to drop his favourites. The Italians would never have played the llump it up to big bloke tactics in thier careers.If we did get McCormack where would we play him?? Fat Sam has never played two up front. Even if we stayup can we get Sam out and get a proper modern thinking manager in and get rid of the dead wood, who in thier right mind would havegiven Nolan a four yeardeal? I still believe if we had kept Zola we would be playing decent football and holding our own in mid table.

  • essexhammersfan says:

    Superb article, very well written….and views of a Hammers legend l will always read, agree with and respect…..COYI ‘><'

  • Lewis Donellan says:

    Hi guys could you please read and share, and if you can, please donate!!
    I am either getting a Spurs Tattoo or I am getting an Anti-Spurs Tattoo, it all depends on which one of my pages gets to £500.00 first. This is for the charity Save the Children and will go towards making children in this country as well as other countries over the world have better lives and better opportunities. Oh and in case it wasn’t obvious I AM A HAMMER!!

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