The Personal Touch

"At our academy we don't just produce good players we produce good people."

Those words from Alan Pardew say a lot about the philosophy at West Ham United.

While many people see football rapidly turning into a win at all costs business, the Hammers boss still sees the value of building personalities at the Club.

"You're life shouldn't be just about football," he said.

"You should have other interests and I like to think that the people I manage are not coming out the other end just bland footballers, but there's some personality.

"The personality side is a major thing I do look for when signing players. I make plenty of enquiries about that."

There certainly are a few big personalities flying around Chadwell Heath, and none more so than Marlon Harewood.

"How big a character is he?" said Alan, "that is difficult to gage"

"He's an out going character and a giver. He's always doing things for other people, mixing music, getting their wheels done, all sorts of things.

"All the sparkly wheels in the car park are down to Marlon!

"He's a good guy, he wants to be a success in his life."

Alan's attitude towards personality have been passed down from his own Crystal Palace boss Steve Coppell.

"All managers shape not just players but personalities. I was lucky enough to have Steve Coppell and he always produced good personalities down the years.

"People at the top clubs like to create the right personality with a winning mentality and doing it the right way."