Tomas Waits

Tomas Repka is sweating on getting international clearance for the game against Middlesbrough at the Riverside  - after finally completing his switch from Fiorentina.
"I am delighted to have signed," he says.
"I am also relieved that it has happened; I was quite nervous because yesterday they were asking me if I wanted to push it to make sure I could play tomorrow.
"I said that I wanted it done as quickly as possible, and I'm very happy it is done, but I am still waiting for clearance from Italy, which I hope to get."
It has been a long, drawn out saga, with Tomas initially reluctant to leave Florence.
Explaining why the decision took him so long, he admits:
"I liked Fiorentina and at first I didn't want to move, because after three years there I felt I and my family were settling in.
"But the situation in the club changed and there were problems getting the wages.
"That gave me time to think about what would be best for me.
"That is when I decided to move to West Ham, but it wasn't an easy decision because of the language.
"I am going to have to learn English and move again - and that will be difficult.
"But I am happy to be here; I like English football and when I had a few offers I decided I wanted to come to England, because I think the Premiership is the best league in the world.
"I think English football will suit me."
That is a view shared by compatriot Ludek Miklosko who, while translating this interview, adds on a personal note:
"He always give 100% like Julian Dicks - and he does know about him.
"When he is on the pitch he is always focused and for 90 minutes he gives everything.
"The physical side is the strongest part of his game."
It was only when Tomas decided to come to England to look round that he finally realised the move would benefit him, and he adds:
"From the first moment I came to the training ground I was very impressed - the facilities are better than at Fiorentina, and I know it is going to be improved further.
"I am very loyal, and I have a contract for five years which I hope to fulfil.
"I know the club is in transition and that West Ham need a few more players, but I would like to get West Ham into Europe as soon as possible."
He insists Glenn Roeder's preferred 4-4-2 system is the right one, adding:
"My first question to Ludo was 'how do West Ham play?' and I said 'that is brilliant' because it is the best way to play."
Despite the current language barrier, he hopes to blend in quickly on and off the field.
He adds:
"I know Paolo, Songy, Christian Dailly - who I have played against - and the international players at West Ham.
"There may be some difficulty settling in at first but I will try to get a good understanding with the other players as soon as possible."
He is not in the least nonplussed that West Ham's original target was Fiorentina team mate Alessandro Pierini, and he insists:
"Pierini is a good defender but these things happen in football and that is not my concern - I am just concentrating on playing here."
And he says his problems with the Czech national team are over after he missed the last two games following his failure to turn up for a previous friendly  - because he was in such turmoil over his proposed sale.
"That is OK," he says, "in the next international against Bulgaria I think I will be involved.
"I was punished but that is how it goes.
"But now I'm looking forward to playing in front of the home fans."