Filed: Sunday, 1st August 2004
By: Gordon Thrower
Hugo Broos and Alan Pardew have their say after Saturday's final pre-season friendly at the Boleyn:
Hugo Broos - RSC Anderlecht
I think West Ham is not a bad team but every time we made pressure on them they had problems. I think that even in the English second division competition there will be much pressure on the ball and I don't think they're quite ready yet. They do have two good strikers - Sheringham everybody knows and the black one (Harewood) was also very strong and is a very good striker. But at the back I think they were not so strong.
The sending off of the goalkeeper was a little ridiculous. The referee's decision was right but this was a friendly game, a preparation game and it was important for us to play the game with eleven. I think a yellow card for the 'keeper and then we go on then ok but those are the rules. It's a pity that we couldn't carry on with eleven until the end.
We had some problems at the beginning of the second half but after it was 4-2 we came back into the game and I think the result of 4-4 was right.
I know sometimes playing with ten can help you but it was important for us to play with eleven today with, maybe the same eleven starting our first competition game on Friday.
Today we played with a 16 year-old player on the right (Van Den Borre) and he certainly needs some experience. Two of the goals we gave away in the second half were from the same situation - twice he forgot to play on Sheringham but he is youthful and he will learn in these games where it's not so important. I thought the first 20 minutes of the second half we would have a catastrophe but we came again and we had the best chances I think.
We have two strikers who are very quick. Mpenza and Aruna (Dindane) can both pass a man without problem and this is very important. We had to play football today - we had more combination in our play, Before we had been putting the ball up and hoping that Mpenza or Aruna could make a difference with their speed but this is not the football of Anderlecht so today was better and if we can go on like this for a few weeks more we will be ready for our matches against Benfica who are a team who are on another level to West Ham.
Alan Pardew - West Ham United
Parts of that performance were very encouraging obviously but I was disappointed with the end period of the game. I made a load of subs but those guys who come on have to realise that they have a responsibility to see the game out. The two goals we conceded were poor goals and I was disappointed for those players. They've worked really hard in training to try to affect the first team and they didn't do themselves justice today.
You have to say that Anderlecht are a top quality side and I marked down probably five players who I thought could play in the Premiership no problem. There were a handful of players who gave us a lot of trouble and we asked questions of them which I was pleased about.
I thought Sergei did well for his first 90 minutes. He worked hard and showed a bit of quality now and then and I was pleased with some of our offensive play. When you play opposition like that you tend to play a bit deep to protect yourselves and that caused us even more problems. In the second half we held a higher line and although they were down to ten men we looked a good team for the first 20 minutes after the restart.
I went with Sergei on the right. It was a problem position for us last year and Marlon did it. Serge has probably got more attributes to bring to that role than Marlon certainly and he's happy to do it - he played in that role in Turkey. It would be nice to have Marlon, Bobby Teddy & Serge on the pitch - well not all four at once but three of the four at one time anyway would be nice! So I looked at Sergei on the right and on the left and at the end I stuck him up front because wanted to see where he felt comfortable and he enjoyed himself today and was very tired at the end.
I'm looking to bring in one player on Monday which i think I will be able to do and I'd like to bring in one more. After that whoever leaves that 24 I'd like to replace. Michael Carrick is part of that 24. He had a bit of a lesson today- he switched off for the last 20 minutes and you can't afford to do that if you're going to be a top player. If you look at their skipper today he kept going all game and I told Michael today that he needs to watch that. They're in the Champions League and you don't win titles for no reason. They've got some very good players and it was an honour to have them at Upton Park today. It was disappointing for them to have the goalkeeper sent off and, to be fair, I thought that that was a bit unnecessary.
The most encouraging thing about pre-season has been the mindset of the players. We want to do it right this year and we now have a nice settled squad. We're not going to have too many changes. The sacrifice of Connors to bring in Teddy and Sergei will, I hope improve us. If we'd kept the same squad we'd have felt sorry for ourselves and we wouldn't have given the fans much of a lift so I hope the sacrifice of David to bring in those two will improve us - time will tell.
The guy who has been reported as coming - there's a good chance that he will arrive. I'm not trying to keep things secret. The truth is that the deal with Man United for Luke Chadwick is not yet sorted out but I am trying to get Luke here - I had him before at Reading.
With Michael, I said to him that I believe that he could have a fantastic year here with some of the offensive players around him. Playing with someone like Teddy could actually make him a better player. The bottom line is that he has a gun against our head with a year left on his deal - he could go to Scotland even for nothing so we need him to sign a deal or we could be in trouble financially. To keep him in the hope we'll go up would be a major gamble. The banks might be able to put us into administration if we're not sound next year so if we didn't make it and Michael went on a free we could have problems. We have interest to pay this year and next - I have to manage this club and ensure there's a West Ham for the fans of the future so it's a tricky one that I'll have to sit down and look at with the board. We're not alone in that sort of position as you know, other teams that have come down from the Premiership are in the same boat.
The situation with Don Hutchison is simple. I sat down with him and said that I couldn't see him starting in this team. The salary he's on warrants him playing in the first team and I suggested that he might be better off sorting himself out a new club. To be fair to Don he's worked hard and he'll be treated with the respect he deserves. There's no animosity between me and Don, I've just been truthful.
Chris Cohen had a slightly sore hamstring at the end today so we protected him today but he got a cracking goal and we have high hopes for him.
Matt Etherington had an ingrowing toenail - but you know what these ex-Spurs players are like! Seriously he ought to be back training by Tuesday and should be ok for next week. Bobby Zamora should be back by Thursday.
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