Cottee’s column: West Ham have potentially found the replacements to McAvennie and I!

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Tony CotteeTony Cottee is back with his EXCLUSIVE Forever West Ham column. Read about Tony’s thoughts on Diafra Sakho’s goalscoring form, the booing of Kevin Nolan and much, much more!

Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia’s blossoming partnership

What a start Sakho has had to his West Ham career; he really is in something of a purple patch and long may it continue.

Despite Diafra’s positive start, for me, Enner Valencia is the one that excites me the most and I still expect the striker to finish as our top goalscorer this season

Valencia impressed me greatly in his three games for Ecuador at the World Cup and I just see so much potential in Enner and his style of play.

As of right now, though, it is great to see the partnership developing with the two strikers; I’ve always maintained the importance of building a successful relationship and understanding with your fellow forwards.

I always try to keep my feet firmly on the floor,  although there is a feeling amongst a lot of Hammers that we’ve (potentially) found our best partnership since, well, Frank McAvennie and I!

Can West Ham keep hold of their 7th place?

I’ll be honest; I didn’t expect to be seven games into the Premier League season and talking of West Ham in seventh place!

Those seven games have been a bit of a mixed bag; our home defeat to Southampton was an awful performance, whereas the defeat to Tottenham Hotspur was hard to take – we were probably worthy of a draw. However, on the flipside, the Hammers were superb against Liverpool, efficient against Queens Park Rangers and unlucky against Manchester United.

Not meaning to rain on the claret and blue parade, however, I’ve always said that the Premier League is split into a top seven and a bottom 13. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United et al will battle it out for the top spots, whilst West Ham fall into the remaining 13 positions.

Sam Allardyce’s aim has got to be 8th, 9th or 10th place this season, it was disappointing not being able to push on from the 10th place finish from two seasons ago but, if we can finish in the top half consistently, coupled with the move to the Olympic Stadium then we can start breaking into the top seven.

Alex Song

In my previous column, I always maintained that there was no doubt about Song’s ability, however, I had my concerns over whether his desire and attitude would be correct, after all, moving from the Nou Camp to Upton Park is a slight change in, well, everything!

After Song’s few appearances for the side, including being club captain, it appears I had nothing to worry about and he has instantly endeared himself to the Hammers faithful.

What I really like about the midfielder’s style of play is that he allows Mark Noble more freedom to push forward and hurt the opposition where it matters.

Kevin Nolan

Look, booing of players isn’t something new; I played in plenty of sides where team-mates were booed. I can’t deny that I always find it disappointing when it happens and, if I’m honest, I don’t ever get the reason for it but it’s something players have to deal with.

Kevin Nolan is a seasoned professional, he knows the drill and he knows he will have to work hard to get his starting spot back. Even a club captain has no divine right to a place in starting XI. No player does – unless you’re called Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, that is.

All footballers will suffer injuries, suspensions or a loss of form and will know there is nothing they can do apart from get their head down and work their way back into the manager’s thinking.

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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  • beckton Geoff says:

    Absolutely agree about the booing tony , I’m not a fan of Nolan or BFS but i would definitely not boo them they are part of my great west ham United, but the sooner they leave west ham the better as far as I’m concerned.

  • Michael Miller says:

    The problem is that BFS point of view Nolan does have a divine right to be in the side – we punters cannot see why this is the case, he doesn’t make a contribution to the team. He’s slow, ponderous and just is not up to the Premier League anymore.

    But he will invariably be in the team when he doesn’t merit a place – I can’t get beyond that!

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