Peter On Transfers

Peter Grant reckons Malky Mackay can bring great leadership skills to West Ham - and is a useful addition to the many skippers at the club!

"It is another captain at the club with Malky having captained Norwich to the Premiership and to the playoff the year before that," says Peter of the club's latest acquisition.

"He is a current international, and you have Christian Dailly, Andy Melville, Anton Ferdinand who has done ever so well with England U21s, and we have got Calum Davenport all competing at the back.

"Stevie Lomas is a captain, as is Christian, Nigel Reo-Coker has been a captain at his old club, Carl Fletcher captained Bournemouth for four years - he was only 19 when he got the captaincy - and we try to have leaders on the pitch.

"The important thing is to get them to gel on the field and take the club forward."

Peter knows that, when everyone is fit, some players might have to be reluctant observers now that the squad has been increased in depth.

"All the top teams have competition and that is what we are trying to get here - it means that unfortunately players will have to miss out but that is the nature of the beast and hopefully it will bring that competitive edge in training so you know you have to be up to speed and have to play very well to be in the side.

"It is performances and results that will take us back to that promised land and that is what we are trying to get."

Talking of Malky in detail, Peter says:

"Malky is probably the old-style centre back who is a good talker; he is not Franz Beckenbauer and is not going to ping the ball 40 or 50 yards and pick people out - but he is going to defend well and be a threat in the opposition's box.

"He will get the back four organised and is a very good talker, and he trains the same way as he plays - in a competitive way.

"When you think about it, he played in a Norwich defence last year - for 50-odd games - that conceded the least goals, so I am sure he will do very well.

"Malky is quality and the biggest thing that struck us - and it wasn't just Coventry who wanted him - is that Malky wanted to come to West Ham."

Peter knows Malky from his Celtic days and jokes:

"I was there when Malky was there - I was in the first team and he was in the reserves!

"But, to be fair, he came into professional football late; he was at the only amateur club, Queens Park, while he was a bank manager.

"Celtic came in and he did very well for them; he is one of those players who is better in the first team than the reserves.

"He has played a lot of Old Firm games, he has played in Europe, he has represented Scotland now and at 32 he is a guy that looks after his body and takes a lot of pride in his professionalism.

"I think he will be a great capture and he is very excited about playing for the club, as he should be.

"He has said himself he is coming to a bigger club now and it is up to him to raise the bar again and perform to let Norwich know he is disappointed that they let him go when they got into the Premiership with them.

"The thing that sums it up for me is that when he was a youngster he was his own psychologist as it were, he did his own sprint training, and so on.

"It always stuck in my mind that he was one of those kids that always wanted to improve and would go in the afternoons with his own trainer to try and get sharper.

"He has made himself mentally stronger and I think that is a massive asset to have as a kid - and he has continued it right through his career.

"Players that are not motivated are a total waste of time and if you have to motivate people to play for West Ham you have got the wrong players."

Malky, of course, follows hot on the heels of Calum Davenport, another centre half, and Peter adds:

"Calum did very well against us in his last game for Coventry, unfortunately - and we said that to him - and with Tottenham spending £3m on him it shows you how good he is.

"We know he has still got a long way to go in his career and hopefully with the experience he is getting with England U21s and now coming to us it will stand him in good stead for the rest of his career."

Peter is delighted that backing has been given to bring three new faces in in the last fortnight, and he adds:

"Everyone knows the financial restraints that exist and you have to give a pat on the back to the board for giving us the opportunity to bring these players in.

"We are delighted about that and we know how difficult it is with us not getting promotion last season - and we have to take responsibility for that because we never performed well enough at the Millennium.

"There is a fall-out from not being in the Premiership and everyone has to understand that; the board have been given unjust criticism when you know that they are desperate for the club to do well, so we are pleased for them as well."

Peter feels West Ham is still a big draw for players, and adds:

"Not many people get the opportunity to come to this club, and I don't care what anyone says; when a club like West Ham come knocking that is not to be sniffed at.

"Players want to come here, improve, and move West ham forward; we know where this club wants to be and to do that you have to have good players.

"We can all talk a good game but the name of the club is not going to get you results, performances on the pitch are."

He is looking for the new faces to make an instant impact and adds:

"We have won some games this season but we still feel we are playing in second gear and we are not playing anywhere near what we are capable of.

"Hopefully these changes will freshen it up and with the experience of Steve Lomas coming back in soon we will have a great mixture.

"We had to shake things up and the Coventry game was a disappointing performance and result.

"The proof is in the pudding of how you perform and hopefully the experience we have brought in will help us."