Roeder: Lamps Loss Disappointing

Caretaker boss Glenn Roeder admits that losing Frank Lampard junior will be "a massive blow" to the club.

"Him, Joe Cole, and Michael Carrick will one day - depending on injuries and different situations - will, I believe, form an England midfield; it would have been even better if they had been playing for West Ham as well.

"But that is looking more and more unlikely and it has been well documented in the last week that it is going to be so difficult for Frank to now stay at the club.

"I have spoken to Frank but not about that particular situation; there is no need for me to.

"If he is still at the club when the new manager arrives that is probably the first problem he will have to address but my gut feeling is that there won't be a turnaround and it's just a question of not if he leaves the club but when."

Nonetheless, if - as seems likely, given the interest in the player - Frank leaves for a fee in the region of £14m, are there suitable replacements?

It is a question Glenn, who - along with Kevin Bond, Peter Eustace, and chief scout Ted Pearce  - has scoured Europe compiling a dossier of potential targets, is well qualified to answer.

He says:

"That's probably not really going to be a decision I will have to make, it's a question for the new manager.

"When he does leave he will be very difficult to replace because he has a great quality of scoring goals from midfield.

"Normally from young Frank you can rely on at least 10 goals from midfield and that is a wonderful ability to have which is why he is so highly prized.

"I don't like to compare players with each other and it would be up to the new manager to decide what type of player he brings in to fill Frank's boots.

"But if I've seen one or two that are that sort of standard I'd better keep them under my hat: I wouldn't want to be advertising the few players that I have seen on my travels this year that I think are of the highest quality, or scouting for any other club."

The abovementioned four are ready to pass on the benefit of their scouting trips to the new incumbent, and Glenn says:

"We've seen many many games and have seen lists of players that we compiled at the end of the season that we think would be excellent players in a West Ham shirt.

"The most disappointing thing is that there are not so many English players as you would like.

"The sort of quality you'd be looking for, you are finding those players generally in Europe simply because a lot of English players that you would like are at clubs that don't need to sell and wouldn't sell.

"But having said that there are still half a dozen English players in different positions that are going to be excellent buys for us, but again that is not going to be my problem."

While recognizing the need to get the right man however long it takes, he hopes that it will be sooner rather than later, explaining:

"People have got to remember it is a difficult time for the coaches such as Roger Cross and myself and even Tony Carr and Peter Brabrook.

"We are all interested and really really know who it is going to be because if he brings in a new team of staff it will be so very difficult to stay at the club.

"It is uncomfortable times for everybody  but any views about who it is I'd probably like to keep to myself.

"But it's a complete guessing game at the moment; I just hope for the club's sake the right appointment is made as soon as possible because the new manager has got a long close season ahead of him sorting things out and going through the playing staff to decide who he wants to keep and who he doesn't want to." 

* Michael Ferrante scored for Australia U20s in a 6-0 win against Guam.