Yassine's Wish

Trialist Yassine Abdellaoui hopes to learn soon whether Glenn Roeder wants to sign him from Dutch club Willem II.

The Moroccan hopes to play in a practice match this week which could decide his fate, and he says: "I hope we play so I can show some of my game. At first the trial was only for two days, but they never give anyone a contract without seeing them play in a match, so they want to see that.

"I think you always have to be hopeful and optimistic to succeed - and I hope they are looking for a player like me.

"I think on Thursday after the game I will hear if they want me and I hope they do. It is so good here, I am really enjoying it even though I have only been here a few days, and I feel very at home.

"The English people breathe football - everything is football here and it is good to live in an atmosphere like that.

"I didn't know that it was so good here. The training ground is good, everything is so relaxed and professional and everyone knows what to do.

"It is not like Holland, where discipline is very important and it is very strict; you can feel yourself here free and comfortable to play and to train.

"When I saw the game on Saturday the atmosphere was so beautiful and the tempo of the game was so high - and I think that really goes with my game.

"I enjoyed watching the game but it is too bad West Ham lost - they were very unlucky."

Yassine has played most of his football in Holland - at his current club Willem II, where he started out, Breda, Nijmegen, and Rayo Vallecano in Spain.

"Yes, I have played in Spain as well," he says, "and everything there was so relaxed during the week. The pressure is high in the games but in Holland the pressure is high every day during the week - and I felt a little bit uncomfortable with that.

"Now, since I have been at West Ham United, I feel the way I did in Spain and the atmosphere is more relaxed. Everyone has qualities and is professional and knows what to do in his own way.

"Here they are focused but where I played it is like a regime. I'm 26 and it is time to move on, I think."

Yassine denies reports that he has fallen out with coach Hans Westerhof and insists: "From my feeling I don't have any argument with the coach. There are other things going on, and it is more to do with the contract, which is up in just over a year.

"I don't know what they really want; either that I sign for more years or perhaps they will sell me.

Describing his style of play, he says: "I can play at the front or in the midfield on the left. It is no problem for me - I am a creative midfielder, I think my game can really fit here and I can express my qualities well."

He knows the West Ham players he has been training with by reputation, if not personally, and adds: "I mostly only know their last names and their history. They are very talented and nice guys and it is always nice to work with guys like that - it is very inspirational."

He does not envisage that any transfer fee would be a stumbling block, and adds: "I don't think so, I have a clause in my contract that keeps the price down."

Although a Moroccan international, Yassine, who speaks with a Dutch accent, would not have problems with a work permit.

"I was born in Holland and I have a Dutch passport, so there is no problem there," he reveals.

As for his international career, he says: "I was in the selection of 1994 and 1998 but it is too bad that I didn't go to the World Cup. That is because I don't like to go to play in the African continent in places like Gambia, Sudan, or Namibia.

"They could not understand that I really didn't want to, which is why my international career is not moving on so well, but if we have a home game I play in the home game."