Cottee - West Ham job is a poisoned chalice

Former Norwich City striker Tony Cottee has described the West Ham managerial vacancy as “a poisoned chalice”.

The ex-Hammers favourite believes Martin O’Neill is the best choice to succeed Avram Grant as manager at Upton Park, but doubts whether it will happen.

Cottee played under one-time Norwich boss O’Neill at Leicester and believes he has all the right attributes to lead the club to success.

“There is only one choice and that is Martin O’Neill,” Cottee said.

“I played under him for three years at Leicester and I would love to see him in charge. He is a great tactician and is excellent at motivating players.”

However, Cottee believes the conduct of the current West Ham owners, David Gold and David Sullivan, could put off potential managers.

“The job is a bit of a poisoned chalice at the moment,” he said.

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“Word spreads about how people who run a club conduct themselves and the word about West Ham is not good at the moment.

“It is going to be difficult to entice the right person to the club. We need someone with a very strong character. Someone like Neil Warnock or Martin Allen, who will go in and sort the squad out from top to bottom.

“The squad needs a complete overhaul and we have a great chance to restructure.”

Cottee scored 147 goals for the Hammers in two spells with the club, and made nine appearances for Norwich during a short stay in 2000.