Winterburn expecting better

Nigel Winterburn believes Avram Grant is the right man to improve West Ham United's fortunes.

The former Hammers left-back spent three seasons at the Boleyn Ground between 2000 and 2003, playing 94 times and scoring once.

While the ex-England defender is perhaps more closely associated with his time at Arsenal, Winterburn still retains a keen interest in the club where he ended his glittering career.

The 46-year-old recently returned to the Boleyn Ground to take part in a charity match, bringing back fond memories of his stay in east London when the WHUTV cameras caught up with him.

"To be quite honest, I've only been back a couple of times since I left, so it was nice to come back. I always keep an eye on how West Ham are doing and getting on. It was a bit touchy for them for a long time last season, but they came through that which is the most important thing.

"Hopefully now, with a new manager in charge and new finances at the club, they can start rebuilding again. I think now, they need to keep the manager in place for the next four-to-five years to get the momentum going again."

Corporate membership

Now working as a media pundit, Winterburn believes new manager Avram Grant is the right man to improve the club's fortunes.

"If you look at what he did when he took over at Chelsea, he got them through to the Champions League final. At Portsmouth, as well, he did a good job under really difficult circumstances.

"If he can get that team spirit that he had at Portsmouth, with all the problems they had, into West Ham, then with the support that he will get here he will be moving in the right direction. Everyone knows football is all about winning and being competitive."

Nigel Winterburn

Winterburn spent the majority of his career playing under George Graham at Arsenal, winning three league titles, two FA Cups, one European Cup Winners' Cup and one League Cup in a team based on a settled and strong defence.

"I think a lot of people, when they talk about goals conceded, they just look at the goalkeeper and the back four but sometimes, if there's no protection in front of them, it's very, very difficult.

"What you've got to do as a team is cut out the silly mistakes. If someone produces a bit of world-class football against you, then there's not a lot you can do about it, but if you cut out the basic errors, you see the goals against going down rapidly and you start winning more games."