Glenn: Let's Move Forward

Glenn Roeder says that he is more interested in moving on from Saturday's opening day win at Preston than getting into a public row with David Connolly.

Although David publicly voiced his disappointment at not starting the game at Deepdale at the weekend - despite coming on fresh as an early second half substitute in searing heat to score the winner just minutes later - Glenn is unperturbed by the negative headlines which arose as a result of his comments.

He is, however, displeased by a report from one media source that he had a row with David in the team hotel on Friday night and, despite knowing the origin of the claim, prefers to maintain a dignified silence on that.

But he does reveal: "I spoke to David on Sunday at the training ground and the matter is now closed.

"All I can say is how much I am looking forward to working with David, Neil, and Jermain this year - and I believe there are plenty of goals in the three of them."

Glenn hopes that the duo of David and Neil Mellor will be more than adequate replacements for Fredi Kanoute and Paolo Di Canio as partners for Jermain Defoe in attack.

Paolo has apparently criticised Glenn in public, claiming, reportedly, that his former manager has 'no personality'.

While the football debate about the rights and wrongs of last season is clearly not unreasonable - and of course Paolo's best exploits on the field are quite rightly revered - it may seem to many to be harsh to criticise Glenn for what is implied as a lack of personal strength.

It is commonly believed in the medical profession that an hour under a surgeon's knife in theatre requires a month of recovery out of it.

After 11 hours of surgery on a brain tumour this summer, Glenn - who insists he neither expects, nor asks for, any sympathy - was back at work within weeks.

Paolo is also quoted as saying, in an interview with The Times today, that he is incredulous about the lead headline 'Di Canio's Revenge' last week in a sister newspaper, which tried, almost laughably, to claim that he was instrumental in Joe Cole joining Chelsea - with whom Paolo himself was once linked.

Claudio Ranieri had, it is said, heard favourable reports from Paolo, Frank Lampard and others about Joe - though it hardly needed an Oracle to asess how well Joe could perform this season after the way he had been playing for the Hammers - and Paolo reportedly responds: "The headline was all about me, even though Lampard is a former Hammer too.

"These people will do anything to attack me; the truth is that Ranieri certainly doesn't need my advice.

"He is a great lad and a genuine talent, but he needs to fully understand how to sacrifice himself and work hard."

Back to basics, and the new-look strike force at Upton Park, of whom Glenn says: "Everyone knows what Connolly and Defoe can do, but Mellor's 60 minutes for us on Saturday was full of promise and he was very unfortunate not to get on the score sheet in the first half.

"For Gerard Houllier to loan him to us for the whole season is excellent news for us at West Ham.

"David has only been with us for a couple of weeks and we are pleased with what we have seen so far.

"Jermain has had opportunities in pre-season, grabbed goals, then scored when it really matters and there are points at stake.

"It was an excellent interchange with Don Hutchison for the goal while David twisted and turned on the edge of the area to beat the keeper hands down."

To his credit - and notwithstanding the fact that some match reports suggested West Ham were lucky to win as a result of the 'was he or wasn't he offside?' decision being proven right - Preston manager Craig Brown praised the timing of David's run from his own half where, of course, you cannot be offside.

Glenn says: "He wasn't offside but timed his run to the split second, and then did the rest, as we saw.

"We have three strikers that anyone would want and as they get to work together they will learn each others' style.

"Those three train well - Gerard has told me about how Neil enjoys his training, and I have seen at first hand David and Jermain as well - and it is always good for a coach to work with enthusiastic players."

As well as the two new strikers, Glenn was happy with the performance of another summer signing, Matthew Etherington, and he says: "Matthew Etherington was involved in both goals in his first game for us and, at 22, still has a lot of improvement in him.

"I think £500,000 is a fair price to pay and come the end of the season I hope it will prove to be money well spent.

"He is a natural left footed player who we have only had for a week, and, like all the other young players, the understanding will grow - the performances will improve because of that.

"We had six players make a debut on Saturday, and that must be a bit of a rarity starting a new season."