Brooking backs West Ham trim

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The Independent Online

The former West Ham United captain Sir Trevor Brooking believes the current manager Alan Pardew may trim his squad as the club look to the future after their recent takeover.

A consortium led by the Icelandic businessman Eggert Magnusson has had an offer for West Ham accepted, and the Upton Park club have since been linked with players such as the Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips.

However, Brooking believes that cutting numbers in the squad is also important as West Ham attempt to climb away from the relegation zone.

"Everyone knows where they are, there will be talk about players but you just have to deal with that and the team has got to get a bit more consistency," said Brooking, who is now the Football Association's director of football development. "There has been improvement in recent weeks and that comes from results and confidence.

"The issue is that there is quite a big squad now, so that is something Alan will have to deal with in the next couple of months."

Magnusson pipped a rival consortium fronted by Kia Joorabchian, who helped to bring Javier Mascherano and Carlos Tevez to the club. The Argentine pair have had a limited impact since their arrival, sparking intense speculation about their future.

And Tevez has been forced to apologise after storming off when substituted during the victory over Sheffield United last weekend - West Ham's third home win in a row following a run of eight consecutive defeats.

Tevez was also ordered to wear a Brazil shirt in training by his team-mates as punishment for his walk-out at the weekend. Pardew decided that Tevez's team-mates would be allowed to decide what punishment he should face.

They plumped for a fine of £1,000 to be paid to charity and it is reported that they also insisted that the player should wear the national team shirt of Argentina's bitter international rivals.

Tevez, who left the Brazilian club Corinthians to join the Hammers in a totally unexpected transfer in late August, has yet to score in eight League appearances.

While players such as Wright-Phillips may help the Upton Park club to build on their achievements of last season, Brooking has emphasised the importance of bringing homegrown players through.

"He [Magnusson] has said all the right things and, with all the things that have gone on for the last few weeks, most fans were grateful that the consortium he was involved in emerged as the winners because there was a lot of uncertainty," Brooking said.

"He seems to be a person who understands about the traditions. We have a tradition and it is important to develop our own players.

"The fans are always loyal here and if there is an opportunity for investment then great, but they'd like it to be still very much where you have homegrown talent as well.

"The club have always had a good reputation and anyone who didn't quite understand that would have found it difficult, but the early signs are good and everyone has now got to take a step back and let them get settled in," Brooking added.

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