Gale On Repka

Tony Gale thinks that Tomas Repka will be a huge hit with West Ham fans if he does complete his signing this week.

And he says that the Czech will bring out the best in those around him as well.

"He is solid if unspectacular," says Tony, "and I think he will really help the lads alongside him with his vast experience.

"He has got over 30 caps at international level and has been playing for one of Europe's best sides."

Explaining the 'unspectacular' comment, he stresses that he regards Tomas as a 'defenders' defender' and adds:
"He is a decent passer of the ball but don't expect him to be Rio style and get carried away.

"He does his defending first and foremost and that is what he is very good at.

"I have seen him in man marking systems and in a back four playing centre back - or indeed at full back.

"He can play across that back four but I'm sure Glenn is looking at him for that centre half position.

"He has gone on record as saying he needs a centre back and Repka is the first of them.

"There may be more; let's hope there is a little more left in the pot because I still think he needs to add.

"Glenn has been true to his word and he has gone for quality rather than the quantity we had last season.

"After David James, Don Hutchison, and Repka if it comes off he probably needs one or two more.

"It is a quality signing; to be honest we were signing bits and bobs last season but these three are quality."

He admits that Tomas may find it hard at first until he learns the language better and says:

"That is always a problem, but we have a 'born-again' Englishman in Ludek Miklosko, who, I am sure, will be a big help.

"I had to room with Ludo when he first came over and we had to do everything by sign language -  including turning the TV over.

"I'm sure Tomas will learn the swear words first!

"But football is an international language and these foreigners that do come over pick it up rather quickly."

Glenn Roeder says he has no complaints about the length of time it has taken to persuade Tomas that the move is right for him, explaining:

"He has had a lot to think about, and I'm glad he has taken his time to think it through, carefully because it is important.

"The matter is still progressing; by the middle of the week hopefully he will be with us."