John Hartson: West Ham are too good to go down

Former Hammers striker believe the team has too much quality to be relegated.

Former West Ham striker John Hartson has had to face the biggest battle of his life in fighting testicular cancer and has written an autobiography about his experiences and to bring awareness to other men.

Hartson, who made 73 appearances for the Hammers and scored 33 goals for the club in a two year spell now believes Avram Grant’s side will be able to battle back from a poor start to the campaign.

“I thought West Ham would struggle initially because they just lost their manager and Avram Grant had a bit of a slow start,” Hartson told the East london Advertiser.

“They have picked up a few points of late a beating Spurs at Upton Park was a great result.

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“I think West Ham will be okay this season, I think they will finish in the bottom half of the League, but I think they have enough quality to avoid relegation.”

Welsh striker Hartson, feels West Ham showed they are a club with lots of ambition by keeping hold of prize asset Scott Parker.

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“It’s not just West Ham, but I feel all clubs have to keep hold of their best players, said the 35 year-old.

“Sometimes for a manager and chairman it can be a real struggle to keep hold of your best players because a lot of the other teams have so much money – and they can end up offering silly amounts of money really, that becomes hard for teams to turn down.

“If you are trying to progress and build a squad you need to keep hold of your best players like (Scott) Parker.

“Other players potentially coming into the club will then see ambition in keeping your best players and then they will join you as well.

“I think a lot of players see clubs selling their best talent and then it becomes very hard to attract more players to your club because they feel you don’t have any ambition, but West Ham are a club full of ambition and have shown that in keeping the likes of Robert Green, Matthew Upson and Parker.”

Over the last couple of weeks the Irons have been in a battle with rivals Tottenham off the field regarding the new stadium plans and moving to the Olypmic Stadium in Stratford.

Hartson feels it will be a shame to leave Upton Park but believes if the club are doing well they have the fan base to fill the Olympic Stadium.

“David Sullivan and David Gold know what they are doing, West Ham certainly have the fans to fill it and are a very well supported club, said the Welshman.

“If they are going well in the league and have a good squad, I can’t see why they wont be able to fill the stadium.

“It will be a shame to leave Upton Park because it has been their home for so many years, but from a business point of view both chairman know what they are doing.”

John Hartson’s autobiography - Please Don’t Go: Big John’s Journey Back To Life, is available from Mainstream Publishing.

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