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Chinny chin, Finnigan?

Filed: Monday, 18th December 2006
By: Matthew O'Greel

Nigel Reo-Coker's agent has claimed that his client received 'hate mail' following Alan Pardew's dismissal last week.

Tony Finnigan, speaking on behalf of the United captain to Radio Five tonight said that Reo-Coker received an anonymous letter at the club's Chadwell Heath training ground prior to the 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday from a supporter who is said to have held the 22-year-old midfielder responsible for the manager's dismissal.

"I just told him to stick it in the dustbin and get ready to go to war against one of the best teams in Europe," claimed Finnigan - who then went on to speak about his client's future, just three weeks ahead of the start of the January transfer window - a pure coincidence, one would assume.

"He is under contract and he is happy there [at West Ham United]," added Finnigan, "but I don't know how long he wants to play in front of boos. We will be sitting down with the manager to talk about him in a clear-the-air meeting.

"If you got approached by one of the top sides in Europe then of course you would be flattered - but I don't want to talk about something that is hypothetical."

Reo-Coker was linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer, whose enquiry into the player's availablity led to a falling out with manager Pardew as a result of that information not being passed on.

He suffered further problems as a result of poor form (which followed an early season injury and an extremely limited pre-season), with many supporters criticising his performances - not however exclusively, as some other sections of the media would have you believe.

Further, his goal celebration in yesterday's 1-0 win over Manchester United - in which he cupped his hand to his ear as if to 'silence' his critics - was subsequently criticised by many supporters who felt it was an unnecessary and somewhat arrogant response.

Reo-COker's agent, Tony Finnigan is no stranger to controversy; he was involved in a similar situation to the West Ham United captain's earlier this season when he was accused of engineering Cameron Jerome’s move from Cardiff City to Birmingham City.

The £3m move eventually went through but prompted one Birmingham City fanzine, Joys & Sorrows, to describe the move as 'smacking of an agent - in this case Tony Finnigan - trying to generate interest in his client and earn himself a few bucks.'

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