Glenn: Hands Off

Glenn Roeder says it would be a "complete waste of time" for anyone to put an offer in for Michael Carrick - and the same goes for any of the other young talent at the club.

Liverpool are the latest club to be mentioned in the same breath as Michael, after West Ham's last two opponents, Newcastle and Arsenal, were linked with him recently.

But Glenn is unequivocal about not selling him, Joe Cole, or Jermain Defoe, and stresses:

"It seems to be Michael's turn this week with speculation about Arsenal, Newcastle, and Liverpool all showing an interest in Michael.

"It is speculation that we as a club could do without, and I could certainly do without it myself; Michael, like all the young players, is on a long contract, he is very much part of my plans for the next three or four years, and he has never shown any desire to want to leave us.

"I would be very surprised if he did; he plays week in, week out, and doesn't need to be at a club where he is rotated.

"At his age, 20, he needs to play every game - as Joe Cole does, and as I'm sure Jermain Defoe is going to be judged on next season.

"It would be a complete waste of time any club even thinking of making an offer for any of our younger players - I say that now to the clubs, and I am saying it to our supporters.

"There is just not an amount of money that we would entertain for these special talents - why should there be?

"I am under no pressure to sell, and they are an integral part of our future plans."

Glenn knows that speculation, however ill-founded, about quality players is hard to supress these days, and adds:

"I have always said you can't hide your quality players; they are there for everybody to see and we have many good young players, especially, that would be the envy of many of the top clubs.

"Michael is highly rated by myself and, as far as I'm concerned, if we are going to move forward as a club over the next few years, there are several good players that I want to build a squad around.

"I don't want to be losing any of these players and Michael, who I believe will have a long England career like the other young players here, has a future at Upton Park where he is very much loved by supporters and everyone alike."

It is acquisitions, rather than outgoings, that Glenn is setting his mind to at the moment, and he adds:

"We would like to be able to be in a position where, by adding to and improving the squad during the summer, we can improve again - if we can do that everyone is going to be happy.

"It is a good environment that we work in here, and they enjoy the coaching that we put on on a daily basis.

"I am under no pressure to sell and I want to add to the squad - we haven't got enough strength in depth anyway.

"My intention is to add to about nine or 10 players here that I want to add to and make the squad stronger for the start of next season - and Michael is very much part of those plans."

Glenn knows that when your name is mentioned in connection with big clubs, it can give your confidence a boost, and says:

"I expect young players like Michael will be flattered by attention of bigger clubs but I can only repeat he is on a very long contract and is very much part of West Ham's future - as are all the other young players."

But he is also aware they are getting the best education at West Ham and adds:

"All the players have had a much better season than last and have all improved.

"I don't see any reason whatsoever why the young players like Michael, Joe, and Jermain, whatever they have done this year - and they have done exceptionally well - will not be even better next year.

"For them as players playing for West Ham at Upton Park, it is going to allow them to develop in an environment where they improve, whereas going to a bigger club where they are in and out in a rotation system is not going to help them to become better players.

"They are very much better off staying where they are and all three have very long contracts."

While Glenn is not accusing any club of impropriety regarding recent stories, he does say:

"Unfortunately it is the way the big clubs often conduct their business, by dropping little hints in the papers, and really it is a subtle way of letting players know they are interested.

"But I don't find it very subtle.

"Clubs will go to great lengths to try and unsettle your players, but all of ours, and especially those three young ones, are very happy in their working environment here at West Ham; they often come in for a chat, and I would know if the situation was otherwise."

He concludes:

"We have had a good first season and there is still a game to go with three points to win, that we very much want to get, so we finish this season on a high."