Culture Clash

Alan Pardew says that not only is the game with West Brom a contrast of styles on the field - but off it as well.

With both teams changing status this season there, reckons Alan, the similarity ends and he explains:

"I think they made a conscious decision that they wouldn't push the boat out when they got promoted and likewise they would keep everything together this year which they managed to do and add to it.

"West Brom's is a very different position to what we found ourselves in; we got relegated when perhaps everyone thought we wouldn't and we lost some key players - and that hurt.

"We still carry that to some extent and you can't help but look at what might have been if everyone had stayed - but that is not what faces us at the moment.

"Gary Megson has got a side that has been in the Premiership; Charlton did something very similar the first year they got promoted - they went straight back down, didn't push the boat out, and went straight back up, which is obviously what West Brom are hoping to do.

"There is as much pressure on them as any other team but the advantage for them is that they have been promoted together and suffered the relegation together, and that brings its own bond.

"This is a massive game for both clubs and I am desperately keen for us to maintain having the best defensive record in the division.

"There have been no surprises; this is a massive club with big expectations but I knew what I was coming into.

"Fans have been used to seeing the quality of Arsenal and Manchester United up against West Ham - and some of these clubs don't look half as attractive.

"The game is made 'ugly' in this division sometimes because managers don't have the resources or the quality - you have to overcome that but you can't always do it in every game.

"We've lost to Rotherham and Gillingham and I'm on my guard against that; they are the important ones to win and every game is a test of our promotion credentials."

******STOP PRESS*****

West Ham United fan and best-selling author Robert Banks will be signing the first few hundred copies of his brand new softback book, The Legacy of Barry Green, published by Boleyn Books, at Upton Park on Saturday.

Banks, who is now based in Yorkshire, is returning south to sign copies of his third book in the main Stadium Store at the Boleyn Ground from midday until 1.30pm tomorrow, prior to the big home Nationwide first division match against West Bromwich Albion.

The Legacy of Barry Green, priced just £6.99, reflects on the last three turbulent years at West Ham through the eyes of a supporter. It's the follow up to his previous paperback successes, An Irrational Hatred of Luton and West Ham ¹Till I Die.

Barry Green? Well, this quote from the book explains a bit more: ³I  found out about the signing of Gary Breen through Shauna. Now she was working for the local paper, she had her finger constantly on the pulse of local, national and international  news, and that included sport. 'Who¹s this Barry Green you¹ve signed, then?' she asked. That summed it up.¹¹

The strapline to the book's title reads: From Redknapp to Roeder, Parlow to West Ham went from East End pride to Nationwide. The book will make you laugh out loud and cry in your beer! At only £6.99, it's the best value read you'll have this Christmas.

If you cannot make it to the Banks signing session on Saturday, copies of his book will remain on sale at all official Club outlets, can be ordered via mail order, or you can buy (post-free in the UK) direct from the publishers by calling their Credit Card Hotline on 01708 379 877.