Football

Brooking worried for Hammers

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West Ham legend Sir Trevor Brooking is hoping Gianfranco Zola can bring players to Upton Park next month to help avoid relegation, as the club considers a takeover offer that could lead to funds being available.

Former Birmingham City owners David Gold and David Sullivan are understood to have tabled a bid for the Hammers, who are controlled by Icelandic company CB Holdings. Earlier in the season, boss Zola needed to sell James Collins to Aston Villa in order to balance the books after signing striker Alessandro Diamanti from Italian side Livorno - but there is a still a shortage of firepower due to Carlton Cole's injury and the club are in a fight to stay in the Barclays Premier League.

Brooking, who scored the winner for West Ham in the 1980 FA Cup final, said: "It would be good to see Gianfranco be able to bring in one or two players in January."

Brooking, 61, was caretaker boss in 2003 when the club were last relegated from the top flight despite a brave battle with their former midfielder in charge. He admits concerns over whether West Ham will get out of their current relegation trouble.

"It's difficult," he said, at the opening of Barnet's new training facility The Hive. "It's not a massive pot but I'm sure they are not alone. With all the ownership issues in the last 18 months it has been really tough and I feel a little bit sorry for Gianfranco.

"But that is part of football. They got the team playing last year and that was positive. They had to allow one or two to go so the depth of the squad is not quite there and they are a bit short from attacking options now Carlton Cole is injured.

"It's a really competitive league because it's a must-stay-up philosophy for the 20 clubs involved. It would be wrong say you are not concerned."

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Topics:
Carlton Cole
Football
Premier League
Gianfranco Zola
James Collins
Aston Villa
Birmingham
West Ham United
FA Cup
Barnet

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