Glenn's Tribute

Glenn Roeder says that Nigel Winterburn, who has decided to retire, was a delight to work with.

His career was largely with Arsenal after his move from Wimbledon in 1987 but more latterly of course at Upton Park following Harry Redknapp's capture of him for a small fee in 2000.

At Highbury he was part of the "famous five" defence, playing 582 games, and helped the club win the league championship in 1989, 1991 and 1998, the FA Cup in 1993 and 1998, the Coca-Cola Cup in 1993 and the European Cup-Winners' Cup in 1994.

He also won two England caps.

Glenn released him this summer but he initially was mulling over the possibility of one more season in the first division - if the right offer came in.

"There have been so many good adjectives used already to describe Nigel Winterburn as a person and as a player and the achievements he has had in football," says Glenn.

"I can only enhance those adjectives - he has just been a fabulous player.

"He is what I would call 'old school', tough as old boots, didn't miss much training, got on with it, never complained, and was Mr. Consistency week in, week out.

"I always knew what you would get from Nigel Winterburn; we had him in the last few years of his career but when he was at Arsenal those ingredients were there then.

"George Graham and Arsene Wenger knew what they were going to get and it is nice when you have players, who, when you go to bed on a Friday night, you can safely sleep knowing that your players are safely tucked up in bed and properly prepared for the game - and that is the case with Nigel.

"He is a real old-fashioned pro, who has a drawer full of medals - and rightly so.

"They are fully deserved and he can be very proud of what he achieved in football.

"Unfortunately there are many players who leave the game through injury or retirement and are not remembered for too long.

"But Nigel Winterburn will be remembered for ever and that is basically all you can say about him.

"He is a wonderful human being and I enjoyed working with him, as I am sure all his previous managers did; I can only pay him the highest respect by saying he was a low maintenance player for his managers.

"He doesn't cause you any problems and he gets the job done."

Meanwhile, former Arsenal and West Ham striker Omer Riza has signed for Turkish club Denizlispor.

He came through the ranks at Arsenal before moving to Upton Park for £25,000 and, after failing to break through into the first team, moved to Cambridge where he scored 17 goals last season.

The 23 year old has signed a two year contract with the Turkish team, who play in the top division.