Tony Cottee’s column: Pop Robson was my idol

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Tony CotteeTony Cottee is back with his EXCLUSIVE Forever West Ham column. Read about Tony’s thoughts on England’s Euro 2016 draw, who was his idol growing up and much, much more. 


What a month. I still cannot quite believe the transformation.

Everyone at the club deserves immense credit for turning West Ham from relegation candidates to an outside bet for the Europa League.

The board have been proved right for sticking by the manager, Sam has stuck to his beliefs and, finally, the players came through.

The belief around the club at the moment is high. I was at the recent open day and there was an upbeat atmosphere, a real feel good factor. However, it is important that we don’t get carried away.

Winston Reid

Unlucky for Winston, a manager has got to stick with a winning team. However, Sam has got to be careful that Reid doesn’t become too ‘sidelined’ from first team action.

There is no doubting Winston’s ability and, should he leave the Hammers, he won’t be short of suitors.

Ultimately, we all know Reid will get back in the team and he just needs to be patient.

Everton vs West Ham

Always makes me laugh when people ask ‘Where will your loyalties lie?’ I’m a West Ham fan.

I had some great years at Everton, scored some goals and the fans were brilliant to me, they’re my second team but I’ll always be a Hammer.

I suppose, if West Ham have to lose, there’s no one I’d rather them do it against than Everton.

Ahead of this Saturday’s game, though, I don’t feel West Ham have anything to fear. The Toffees have their injury problems in the final third and, given the Hammers current form, they will fancy themselves against anyone.

Euro 2016

I understand what UEFA are trying to do. I get it; everyone deserves a chance to qualify. Imagine if we said that the FA Cup would no longer include non-league sides, it is their very inclusion that gives it the magic.

The problem is that now the tournament will become very diluted and the classic games will be few and far between. Even the most recent World Cups and Euros have failed to deliver the games we want to see, so raising the number of participants to 24 won’t help things. 


Without hesitation, Bryan ‘Pop’ Robson. I grew up supporting West Ham in the 70s and Pop had two stints with the club.

I loved watching him play; he was the complete all round player, great with his left or right foot and also handy with his head.

I also admired German international Gerd Muller. I was never going to be 6 ft 2, so I enjoyed watching the forwards who were smaller in stature.

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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  • philtheiron says:

    It continues to amaze me that although his column is meant to be light and frothy it still doesn’t stop him from making excellent points and talking sense! I to grew up idolising pop Robson! As a kid it always amazed me that such a little unassuming man who looked nothing like the other pretty boy stars of the day, could score so many goals and be so good! Everton indeed have their injury problems, especially jags at the back and I haven’t stopped laughing that having done the dirty on us over traore he is now out injured for such a long time! Lukaku not fully fit and we have oor Andy chomping at the bit to right any number of injustices! Add the fact we are on a bit of a roll, We must have a great chance of another win! 2-1irons!

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