Robbo: Glenn Doing Well

Former West Ham and Arsenal player Stewart Robson was a fascinated spectator at Highbury on Wednesday night - and was impressed with the Hammers.

"It was an interesting game," he says, "with West Ham coming with a view to stifle the space in behind them, so they defended quite deep.

"They also tried to stifle the space Bergkamp normally occupies and they were very compact between their back line and midfield line - and Arsenal struggled to break it down.

"I think the tactics used by Arsenal, going down the midddle, didn't succeed until late in the second half.

"Ipswich were by no means as good as West Ham and they tried to do exactly the same, but the one thing Arsenal aren't very good at is when they get into wide areas. When the crosses come in they haven't really got a good header of the ball and with Repka, Dailly, and Pearce all strong headers of the ball, it didn't look as if they were going to score off a cross."

As for our attacking prowess, the former Wimbledon coach adds: "I saw Kanoute play his first game against Wimbledon when I was there and we absolutely magnificent. I still think he has the potential to be a fantastic player - he has pace, strength, and skill.

"And he can be a good finisher which he showed once when it looked like a goal.

"I also thought Carrick was outstanding in midfield and ran the game at times when West Ham needed to keep the ball, and a couple of the centre halves caught my eye - Repka is a strong and aggressive player."

On the subject of the young England hopefuls, he says: "Only their talent has taken them there but people have to be a little bit patient with them.

"Cole has got the potential to be one of the really great players but he is limited in where he can play by which I mean I don't think he is a wide player or a deep midfield player - he has got potential, and so much skill, vision and trickery that there is no limit to what he can do.

"I think he will go to the World Cup as a different sort of player, and I like Sinclair as well. The question for the World Cup is 'have we got any really great players?'

"I don't think we have. To get to the World Cup final you need a great player like Maradona, Pele, Beckenbauer, Cruyff, or Zidane - all those countries had a truly great player in their side but I'm not sure England do.

"I think someone can emerge - it could be Rio Ferdinand, who proves to be a fantastic defender and one of the best on the ball, but he hasn't proved it yet."

Stewart is impressed by Glenn Roeder in his first season and says: "I think he has done an excellent job. My former sides have met somewhere in the middle because when I was at Arsenal they were very dogged, regimented, and physical but lacked a bit of skill and panache.

"They have more flair in their side now but have still kept those defensive qualities. West Ham were full of flair and one touch passing but had no defensive qualities or understanding whatsoever and, without losing too much of the flair, have become disciplined in their defending."

Stewart is doing broadcasting work at the moment, and says: "I am thoroughly enjoying it. I have done a lot of work for Radio Five but I am looking for coaching jobs.

"I only left Wimbledon at Christmas but, without blowing my own trumpet - and I'm about to! - I think I am as good a coach as anybody. I feel I have the potential to be a top manager in the long run and I need to be someone that is in control of either an academy or a first team.

"I am not such a good assistant because I feel I can do it as well as most."