Tony: Make It A Hammer

Tony Gale says that he feels an ex-Hammer should be given the West Ham manager's job - but doubts Trevor Brooking could be persuaded.

He is also keen to point out that he is full of admiration for the way Glenn Roeder conducted himself as West Ham manager, especially through the ordeal of recovering from a brain tumour towards the end of last season.

On the issue of caretaker manager Trevor Brooking taking over permanently - he is the bookies' favourite - and whether his head could be turned to accept, he says:

"I think his head would have to be swivelled 90 degrees like the girl in The Omen for him to want it!

"It is a decision that you have to make not just for yourself but with your family because it is a 24/7 task.

"There is no way you can go into it half-heartedly, and he has does have a good job in the media as well as a nice role in the boardroom.

"I wish Trevor would consider it, though, because I think he would be perfect - doing the management side without necessarily all the training.

"He is a great West Ham name and I think the fans would like that."

Tony feels that the task of becoming only West Ham's 10th manager is a tremendous honour, and adds:

"I would take the job tomorrow but I will not be applying - but I would like to see an old club face take the job.

"Obviously Iain Dowie has done well at Oldham with virtually no money, they play good football, and they beat us in the Worthington Cup last season.

"Then you can look at Alvin Martin, who has given the club 20 years' service, Alan Devonshire, who has spent seven years cutting his teeth in non-league football, and Ray Stewart up at Forfar."

One thing is for certain; Tony feels that Glenn should be left to recover from the blow of losing his job in peace, and he says:

"He is a good, decent man, and I don't think there is a harder working person about - anyone who knows him would be upset if anyone had a go at him."

As for the timing of the decision, Tony adds:

"The only thing I can think of in terms of the reasoning behind it is that Ipswich got in a situation last season - and they are looking at clubs like Ipswich and Derby - where they didn't change their manager until late, and it gave them a little bit of fresh impetus.

"Ipswich got it with Joe Royle late on and just missed the playoff spot; so perhaps they want to change it right away rather than be in a situation where we are chasing everyone instead of being up there from the start.

"Maybe there was a little panic with the results that have gone so far; we won the Preston game not very convincingly, Sheffield United was not a very good game, and everyone knows about Rotherham where we simply weren't at the races and our attitude wasn't right."

Glenn has brought in six players this campaign, whether permanently or on loan, as well as giving debuts to youngsters Youssef Sofiane, Anton Ferdinand, and David Noble, and Tony adds:

"We do have a new side and Glenn would have every reason to feel a little bit gutted at not taking that side on.

"But on the other hand it was a relegated side and with the players that we had, and that were sold - the likes of Joe Cole, Glen Johnson, Fredi Kanoute, and Trevor Sinclair who were snapped up straight away by Premiership clubs - it was a decent squad that we had that went down.

"You also have to sling into the equation the fact of Glenn's illness, which was one of the tragedies of last season; how has he reacted to the illness? I hope he is fine, as his health is paramount.

"Glenn did an excellent job in his first season but who could have written the script for what happened last season?

"It could be a best selling film, going from bad to worse with Glenn sadly collapsing after the Middlesbrough game.

"But he is a courageous person, as he showed in coming back so soon after his operation, and I am sure he will bounce back."