Glenn's Little And Large

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Glenn Roeder says he is looking forward to the partnership of Jermain Defoe and Fredi Kanoute continuing at Macclesfield in the absence of Paolo Di Canio.

"I don't see any reason why Jermain doesn't start the game, there are no secrets - it will be him and Fredi, which will be the third time they have played together," says Glenn.

"Eventually I'd like to think it will be a really good partnership for West Ham; they did ever so well against Liverpool, not so well at Leeds but they did not get good service and were possibly up against the England central defensive partnership in the very near future in Woodgate and Ferdinand.

"So that was always going to be a tough one, though I still think they worked well, and this will be a third opportunity for them; we are all fairly excited about those two and this is another chance for them to start together.

"Looking at them from a physical point of view, there is big presence and loads of technical ability from Fredi and that short striker who twists and turns, and gets his shots in quickly from Jermain Defoe and you would think over a period of time that would be a decent partnership when Paolo is not available."

Talking of the continued speculation concerning Paolo Di Canio and Manchester United, Glenn adds:

"It has lasted so long now it does make you wonder if there is more to it than meets the eye, whereas before it has flared up and died down very quickly.

"But it may be because of the fact that Andy Cole has just been sold and there is speculation that Yorke is about to be sold - which creates another opening for a striker.

"I would hope the speculation will go away, and the last time I spoke to Paolo he was just as unaware of it as we were.

"I am sitting here waiting for a phone call and all the uncertainty is not good, which is why I hope it can be laid to rest.

"People are putting two and two together, but every player can be bought if enough money is available - even David Beckham.

"Put yourself in Paolo's boots, though - Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"It is not just driven by a board of directors and a manager any more, and if Manchester United come knocking on your door it is a different situation; but no one has asked Paolo yet because no deal has been agreed."

That, indeed, is the crux of the matter: without a bid coming in, any approach to Paolo, or even a representative, would be technically illegal.

Glenn adds:

"No deal has been done between Manchester United and West Ham and, that being the case, there is no way Paolo can talk to them.

"It is a case of what is the strength of the speculation; we're not trying to sell him and we'd have to cross such a bridge as and when contact has been made.

"Agents are certainly a lot stronger than they used to be and it is a situation I'm not happy with; in days gone by managers used to talk to managers.

"There has not been any contact between us and Manchester United and my gut feeling is that he will be playing for us against Leicester next week, and I don't see a reason to think otherwise."

Speculation about his assets is something Glenn is learning to live with, and he adds:

"It is a backhanded complement that we have several highly prized players who would grace any club in the Premiership."

As for the game at Macclesfield, he adds:

"There is nothing new in terms of injuries, which is excellent news, and the way it has got to be. "Hopefully Paolo will be back into the training ground on Monday or Tuesday but we knew he'd miss Macclesfield with the hamstring and the cold.

"Michael is 50/50 at best, and hopefully we will have him back for the Leicester game; because of our situation quite often you think you are walking on thin ice and it can be very uncomfortable.

"We must not lose sight of the fact that we have got a very important Cup game; these games are always difficult and I'm sure they will be fighting for their lives and wanting to show they should be playing at a higher level, so it is important that we play to the level we do week in week out."