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David Gold on:
Player loyalty & Luis Suarez
Signing another striker
Our summer signings
Breaking into the top 10
& much more
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Before the first ball was kicked in anger at Upton Parkearlier this month, if anyone had offered me four pointsafter our two opening fixtures I would have gladly taken it.
Given the fact that Cardiff are a newly-promoted side andNewcastle were probably looking to get revenge for ourvictory at St James Park last season, I felt we approachedand handled both games very well and we should bedelighted with both performances.
As for the visit of Stoke this weekend, I believe we havethe perfect opportunity to continue our unbeaten run
From what Ive seen of the Potters so far, they are notthe same side they were a few seasons ago under Pulisand if we can take the game to them from the off, I can onlysee us securing three points.
Looking at this weeks issue and weve got anotherexclusive interview with David Gold. This time he has spokento us about player loyalty and why fans should stopworrying about it as well as buying Stewart Downing andhis quest to sign another striker. He also spoke to us aboutScott Parker and the work happening at the OlympicStadium. Id like to personally thank him for taking the timeout of his busy schedule to meet and talk to me.
Elsewhere, weve got a brilliant piece from Colin Steelwho has started a campaign to get the club to name theEast Stand after Billy Bonds as well as another letter toSam Allardyce by Brian Williams. Weve also got anexclusive chat with the new West Ham Ladies captain BexMerritt and much, much more. Enjoy the game!
EDITOR: David BlackmoreNEWS EDITOR: Alex ShillingCONTRIBUTORS: Colin Steel,Lucy Woolford, Thomas Johnson,Brian Williams, Neil Chatterton,Andrew Hosie, Christian Gare,Bill West, Tim Holland
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(c) Blowing BubblesDavid BlackmoreEditor
Ask David Gold whether ornot fans should expect foot-ballers to remain loyal totheir employers and his an-swer is simply for fans tostop worrying about it.
The days where footballwas graced with the likes ofTom Finney, Stanley Mat-thews, Bobby Moore, BillyBonds and Matthew Le Tissi-er are no more, West Hamsjoint chairman claims, andthere is only one person toblame.
There was a time whenlocal people played for theirlocal clubs but then a personcalled Bosman came alongand messed it all up, MrGold toldeditor David Blackmore dur-ing an exclusive interview.
I believe he is solely re-sponsible for loyalty going outof football because it is veryhard for somebody that wasborn and bred in say Senegal,who has never heard of Mil-
ton Keynes or Middles-brough, to come to thiscountry and play footballthousands of miles awayfrom his home while missinghis family and all we talkabout is loyalty. Its not theirfault; its Bosmans.
Loyalty in football hasntcompletely gone but its verylimited today. Ive got playersat West Ham who will walkover broken glass for theclub but equally I knew play-ers in the past who wouldntwalk two yards for my club.
Weve got to, as fans,move on because the days ofTom Finney and Stanley Mat-thews are gone. The thing toremember is that when youand I die, our children will bethe next generation of fansand their children will be thenext generation of fans ofthis football club. This is theheart and soul of any club.
Players will come and go,managers will come and go
and even owners will comeand go but generation aftergeneration of fans will contin-ue to support the club andthat is why every football clubtruly belongs to the fans.
The family tradition goeson and on but things change even stadiums.
The only thing that re-mains solid forever is thefans of the football club so weshouldnt focus too much onplayer loyalty. We have to, asfans, just live the momentbecause football has changedand it is what it is.
But I promise you they areout there fighting to win. Theywant to win for you, they wantto win for the football cluband they want to win forthemselves because theymight then get to play for thecountry or get a move to helpsecure their financial situa-tion for the rest of their lives thats no different to every-one else.
The Big Interview: David Gold
Player loyalty?Stop worryingabout it!
Asked about the Luis Sua-rez saga which has led tomany columns dedicated toasking if there is any loyaltyleft in the game, Mr Gold con-tinued: From an ownerspoint of view, you have to tryand make everyone happy.
We want to make the fanshappy as well as the players,the manager and the board.
There are some playersout there who I would neverwant to play for my footballclub but I have to take intoaccount the feelings of boththe board and the fans.
You have a responsibilityto all these people and alsothe reputation of the footballclub is very important but it isvery difficult to sit here andcriticise the Suarez situationbecause it could happen tome in the future.
You cant say if I was atLiverpool and I had the Sua-rez situation I would do thisand that because there are100 elements to the debatethat we arent aware of andwithout that information it isvery hard to stand as judgeand jury.
Moving onto how he felt thesummer has gone for WestHam from his point of view,Mr Gold said: Its been a bitof a problem in the sensethat we made a record sign-ing but fans havent reallybenefited from it becausethey already had Andy Carrollso the fact we converted hisloan into a six year contracthasnt really changed any-thing.
You make the clubsrecord signing but it hasnthad the impact for the fans
that you would get if youbrought in a brand new play-er but to the club and theboard its been a massivedeal.
And asked how the Down-ing deal came about so quick-ly, he continued: Sam cameto us and said he wantedStewart Downing and thereason it was done quicklywas a number of reasons.
Firstly Stewart Downingwas happy to move and hap-py to move to a London club.
Secondly he was happy tomove to a club where he be-lieves he is going to play on aregular basis which wasntthe case at Liverpool and
thirdly he is joining his oldteammates in Joe Cole andAndy Carroll.
From our point of view, hecan play either right or lefthand side which is good be-cause we can switch himbackwards and forwards withJarvis and he is a quality play-er. It was also quite clear, inmy opinion, that he wasnt inBrendan Rogers plans andLiverpool want to reducetheir wage bill because of thenew wage restraint rule andthis was an opportunity whichsuited them.
He continued: Im thrilledwith the fact weve brought inAndy Carroll and Stewart
Downing and Im delighted webrought in the experience ofan international left back inRasvan Rat.
I think its great weve alsogot a keeper in Adrian who ishighly regarded and in thefew minutes I saw him play inpre-season, I could see he is avery commanding young manwith a bright future.
But the fans will say, and Isympathise with them on thisargument, that we need astriker. We need a striker toplay when Andy Carroll is in-jured or suspended but itshard to get a quality centreforward when you are sayingCentre forward required. Notto play but to sit on the benchand maybe get a couple of
games when Andys injuredor suspended.
There were a number ofplayers who wouldnt join uson the basis that they eitherhad to play