Former Player Blog - Tony Cottee

Hammers legend Tony Cottee is predicting big things for his former club this season

Tony Cottee is rated one of the best ever strikers in the club's history scoring 146 goals in 336 appearances and came the closest to winning the top flight title when he was part of the famous Boys of 86' team which finished third back in 1986. Cottee is still an avid Hammers fans and feels the club have the ideal chance to make it a memorable end to the campaign.


It has been a brilliant season for the club. They made a really good start and need to continue that in terms of their league form and pick up as many points as possible.

The good start has enabled the team to focus their efforts on the FA Cup and they have had some good performances in the last few games.

I think it is fair to say that former West Ham teams might have gone under in some of those games – I'm thinking of the West Brom result last year when everyone had such high hopes.

We went to Blackburn last Sunday and came through with flying colours. We can look forward to the quarter final with Manchester United and the league is still very important.

If we could manager to win a few games in a row who knows where we could end up?

We have got to keep ticking away with the games and we have got some big fixtures coming up against Sunderland and Tottenham at the Boleyn Ground.

I am down at the training ground and there is a real camaraderie among the boys and a great team spirit. It is almost like a bit of a throw-back to thirty years ago with the team that I was part of which finished third. Everyone is very relaxed.

You look at the performances on the pitch and they don't seem to fear playing against anyone.

The wins at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have given the players great confidence and hopefully they can do the same against Manchester United.

In my experience of the game, I only had that 1985/86 season when I was part of a team that had good individuals around you and on our day could beat anyone in the country.

I always say that we didn't think we could win games, we knew we would win games. Myself and Frank McAvennie knew we would score goals and the defence knew they would not concede goals.

It feels the same with this team that if they do concede like they did against Blackburn last Sunday, they will still score two or three. There is the belief there and you only get it two or three times during your career – this is one of those seasons.

The boys have got the belief. It is probably the best squad we have had for the last 15-years.

You have to get all aspects right. It is okay to have the creative players but you need your goalscorers and defenders and a good goalkeeper. All the ingredients need to be merged together.

Dimitri has been fantastic and I have enjoyed watching Lanzini when he has played this year. The Kouyate's and Obiang who are in the team don't always get the praise but they do a great job in the midfield.

I am a big fan of Mark Noble and he has been consistent and this has probably been his best season.

He is the captain and is a huge influence in the dressing room. He is a leader and I can't think of anyone better who I would want to see lift the FA Cup this season.

We have got four or five very good forwards at the club and it is a very good squad. You have to seize the chance. As good as our season was thirty years ago we only finished third and didn't win the FA Cup.

When the chance comes along you need to take the chance and the moment. My advice to all the guys is take your chance and try and qualify for a European spot.

Don't just reach the semi-finals – try and get to the FA Cup Final and win a trophy.

I have special praise for my two mates Slaven Bilic and Julian Dicks who have done a fantastic job this season.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Ham United